“Ladies, Never Doubt Your Capabilities!”

A Story of Emilia Syafitri, Bangkit 2022 Graduate from Computer Science, Institut Pertanian Bogor
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” - Eleanor Roosevelt
According to data from the Boston Consulting Group (2020), the percentage of women workers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) only reaches around 37%. One of these women is Emilia Syafitri (21), from Curup, Bengkulu, Indonesia.

In today’s tech landscape, women like Emil are trying to break barriers in this male-dominated industry and close the tech talent gap in Indonesia. As you know, in 2030, Indonesia will need an additional nine million digital talents to optimize the digital economy.

Despite facing initial skepticism and stereotypes as a woman in IT, Emil’s unwavering determination and curiosity led her to discover her love for technology, igniting a lifelong journey of self-discovery and professional growth.

So, how was Emil’s journey of becoming one of the women in tech? Let’s delve into her story!

Coming From a Family Who Prioritizes Education

Growing up in a humble family, Emil witnessed her parents’ dedication and hard work to provide for her and her siblings. As the youngest of four, Emil’s upbringing was rooted in the ethos of resilience. Even with limited resources, her parents prioritized education as the cornerstone of their children’s future.
“Despite the modesty of my circumstances, my parents always want to see me excel academically and forge my paths in life.”
So, for Emil, success wasn’t measured by material wealth but by fulfilling her parents’ hopes and aspirations—a sentiment that would shape her journey in the years to come.

From a tender age, Emil’s fascination with technology sparkled within her. At just ten years old, she was drawn to the computer her parents had provided. She was eager to explore its mysteries. What began as a simple curiosity blossomed into a passion fueled by her older siblings’ guidance.
“Back then, I was quite addicted to computer games. From there, my curiosity grew, leading me to learn Microsoft Excel formulas and install applications myself. In sixth grade, I participated in a tech competition at the regional level and won second place.”
As she navigated through her academic pursuits, Emil’s affinity for logic and problem-solving led her to focus on subjects like Physics during high school. Despite setbacks and the disappointment of not pursuing engineering as planned, Emil remained undeterred in her quest for knowledge by continuing to Institut Pertanian Bogor (IPB).

However, Emil’s path took an unexpected turn when she enrolled in the Fisheries and Marine Science program. There, Emil grappled with subjects that failed to ignite her passion. However, fate had other plans for her as she was granted admission to the Computer Science program–a pivotal moment that would set the stage for her transformation.

Bangkit: A Platform for Self-Discovery and Empowerment

Navigating the complexities of transitioning to a new field of study, Emil faced numerous challenges as she embarked on her journey in Computer Science at IPB University. The initial insecurity from peers and the daunting task of catching up with her more experienced counterparts left Emil feeling insecure.

Yet, undeterred by the obstacles before her, Emil remained passionate about carving a path for herself in the world of technology. That’s when she stumbled upon Bangkit—a beacon of hope and opportunity that would profoundly shape her journey.

Introduced to the program through announcements on campus and recommendations from her friends, Emil saw Bangkit as a gateway to unlock her true potential and delve deeper into her newfound passion for technology.
“Despite the hectic schedule and demanding workload, I seized the opportunity to expand my horizons in Bangkit. I really enjoyed the process.”
Navigating the male-dominated tech industry landscape, Emil faced many challenges as a woman pursuing her passion for technology. As she transitioned from the Fisheries and Marine Science program to Computer Science, Emil grappled with insecurities fueled by stereotypes.
“Honestly, it’s quite challenging because people think, ‘Oh, she's from fisheries, and she’s a woman.’ For them, it’s weird for a woman to switch careers to tech. I also feel so insecure because many are already skilled.”
The prevailing notion that women were ill-suited for careers in IT only served to compound Emil’s feelings of self-doubt and insecurity, casting a shadow over her aspirations in the field. However, Emil refused to be defined by people’s assumptions or constrained by gender biases.

Determined to prove her worth and challenge the status quo, Emil embarked on self-discovery and empowerment. With unwavering determination, she sought solace in her abilities and set out to defy the odds stacked against her. Through sheer perseverance and a commitment to her goals, Emil transcends barriers and breaks stereotypes.
“I’m leveraging Bangkit as a platform for self-exploration and growth. I honed my technical skills and found the courage to confront my insecurities in the tech world.”
Embracing her unique identity as a woman in tech, Emil found strength in her resilience and determination to succeed. She proved her detractors wrong by turning adversity into opportunity and paved the way for other women to follow.

Emil’s Message to Encourage Women in Tech

After graduating from Bangkit, Emil’s journey continued. Now, she works as a Software Engineer at Apotek Digital Indonesia, a company based in Central Jakarta specializing in healthcare management. In a few words, this company provides applications or services such as software in mobile applications and websites for pharmacy owners.

Even after graduating from Bangkit and IPB, despite initial doubts and challenges, Emil embraced her role and seized every opportunity to delve deeper into her passion.

Reflecting on her experiences, Emil shares invaluable advice for aspiring women seeking a career path in the tech industry. She emphasizes the importance of self-belief and resilience in adversity, particularly in male-dominated environments where women may face skepticism and discrimination.
“I encourage women to rise above society’s expectations and stereotypes. Just pursue your passions relentlessly and never doubt your capabilities. No matter if we took longer than others. Learning is a journey, not a race.”
In a world where doubts may surround her, Emil advocates for self-reliance and self-motivation. She emphasized that women are more than the limits set by the environment around them.
“We must prove to ourselves that negative words from others are untrue. Use them as evidence that their words are not enough to make you doubt your own decisions. If we can’t find our comfort zone, just make our own.”
She also encourages women to push their comfort zones, seek growth opportunities, and never underestimate their potential.
“By taking ownership of your learning journey and actively participating in beneficial activities like Bangkit, women can empower themselves and showcase their talents in the tech industry.”
As she progresses in her career, Emil remains a beacon of hope and inspiration for aspiring women everywhere. Emil’s story proves that with passion and dedication, anything is possible in the world of tech.


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