Telkomtelstra's president director, Erik Meijer, announces the Pledge for Parity program at the company's office in South Jakarta. (Photo courtesy of Luhut Hutapea)

Telkomtelstra Announces Its Pledge for Parity

BY :SYLVIANA HAMDANI

MARCH 09, 2016

Jakarta. Women make up half of the world's population yet they still suffer a lot of discrimination and inequality.

In Indonesia, women, according to the 2015 data of Central Statistics Bureau (BPS), make up 49.7 percent of the total population of 254.9 million, or around 126.8 million. Yet, very few of them reach top professional levels.

One of the fields in which women are often outnumbered is information technology (IT). Considered a man's world, the IT world is usually dominated by male employees, even though many women also possess the same skills and expertise.

In Telkomtelstra, a joint venture between Telekomunikasi Indonesia (Telkom) and Telstra Corporation Limited Australia (Telstra), women only make up to 30 percent of their work force.

Currently, Telkomtelstra has around 90 employees.

Therefore, on International Women's Day on Tuesday (08/03), Telkomtelstra announced their unique initiative, named Pledge for Parity, which is aimed to improve women's participation at the workplace.

"It's the first time for us at Telkomtelstra to celebrate International Women's Day," said Telkomtelstra's president director, Erik Meijer, at their headquarters in the Eighty Eight @ Kasablanka office building, South Jakarta. "And we want to celebrate it by improving the parity between women and men at the company."

Telkomtelstra was first established in Jakarta in May 2015.

The pledge consists of five main points.

The first point in the pledge is that the company will ensure that there are both male and female candidates for every vacant position in the company.

The second one is to add the number of female employees in areas that are mainly dominated by men. One of these areas is the technical services department, which is currently 85 percent dominated by male employees.

"And we'll also dedicate a nursing room for breastfeeding women in the company," said Meijer. "The nursing room will be ready in this building within the next couple of weeks."

The fourth point, which is great considering Jakarta's traffic, is that the company will provide more flexible hours for their female employees, as well as an option to work from home.

The fifth is dedicated to fathers of newborn babies.

"We'll now provide them with two weeks of paternity leave," said Meijer.

In Indonesia, fathers of newborn babies only gets two days of paternity leave.

"With more paternity leave, we hope [fathers] will have more time to help their wives and newborn babies at home," said Meijer.

Betti Alisjahbana, founder and commissioner of QB International, who came to the pledge announcement on Tuesday, lauded the new policies of Telkomtelstra.

"I'm very happy with the pledge of the company," said Betti. "I'm sure that it will improve women's contribution in the workplace and help enhance their careers."

Mayang Schreiber, senior adviser of Burson Marsteller, also welcomed the new policy of Telkomtelstra.

"Now that women are given equal opportunities at work, it's really up to them to rise up to their potentials and be who they always want to be," said Mayang.

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