Opinion

Breaking the Myth: Female Who Leads in Tech

Of course, finding female who code is not at all easy. That’s why the concept of female ruling tech industry that FemaleDev initially brought got belittling feedbacks from many people. Yes, in Indonesia, a deep-rooted cultural belief stated that female have birthright to take domestic role: as a wife, a daughter, a mother. For some, female not bearing child is seen as a failure. It is an anomaly for female to take any leadership role, to demand equality in both family and career wise.

Kibar then put its effort to try and solve the problem. A year and a month ago, on February 2013, Kibar held the first FemaleDev workshop in Jakarta. There were 23 young females came to learn to code in an exclusive no-men-allowed session.

FemaleDev Workshop #7 in Semarang:
HTML5 & CSS3: Take Your Design to Another Level

Mutiara Risvita, one of FemaleDev participants who attended that very first FemaleDev workshop, said, “I came (to FemaleDev workshop) out of curiousity. Was there a real female-only programming class? What would that be like?”

She also said that the number of female student in her class is minority. After attending FemaleDev, Mutiara was happy to meet 22 other females who share the same interest, passion, and even emotions. She could ask for help not only from the mentor, but also from them; those girls who code.

During that four-hour workshop, in a small room no larger than 40 square meters, 23 young female developer had a chance to know each other, shared their experiences, understand fully that female have the same potentials to be a leader in tech industry.

Introducing: FemaleDev
They also understand that female is being under represented in public area: as leaders, as creators, as decision makers. This issue happens globally. According to Kauffman Foundation, only 3% tech startup is led by a woman. While in fact, tech companies led by woman get 35% higher ROI. When the company is funded, female bring higher income in the amount of 12%, compared to companies led by men.

This is how women leaders achieve more!

Unfortunately, even with that amount of potentials, number of female participation in the industry still need a huge boost. Through FemaleDev, Kibar is building a generation of female leaders generation in tech industry. A dream that were once seen as irrelevant and being underestimated. Nonetheless, that’s what made Kibar feels more eager to expand FemaleDev.

FemaleDev is not only a platform for female to learn how to code, but also to encourage them to create stuffs that are not only useful for themselves, but also for many people. FemaleDev members have created several apps projects for social cause; apps for helping dyslexic children to learn, creating a system for school counselor, and  a web portal to empower local businesses.

Amanda Surya once said that female have too much potentials, but they don’t have as much confidence. By solving problems through program with their friends, female can be far more confident. In FemaleDev, not only they are making changes to create a better Indonesia through technology, but also encouraging more female to do so.

FemaleDev, in collaboration with GDG Jakarta, held Women Techmakers
chapter Jakarta: Engineering the Future; a women-only tech talk

This spirit brought FemaleDev to release an ebook of 10 young outstanding females from tech industry that aim to inspire other Indonesian female. They create great stuff, but also bring meaningful impact for others. In the beginning of 2014, in collaboration with Ziliun.com, FemaleDev launched an ebook titled Empowering Young Female Leaders in Technology.

Recently, all of those hard work get support and recognition by Google. As a part to celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8, Google for Entrepreneurs initiates a program called #40forward, a movement to increase woman participation in tech industry by 25%. Kibar through FemaleDev, has been selected as 1 of 40 organizations around the world that contributes in #40forward: 40 Startup Communities Rethinking the Gender Gap!

In the future, FemaleDev will keep launching activities to encourage more female to be leaders in many fields, as well as to be creators that can bring meaningful impact.


You can read a version of this article in Bahasa Indonesia here.