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Every Woman Can Be a Leader

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Leader is an essential figure in the company. Through a leader, a company or organization can deliver their core values to their employees. A company is able to achieve their target and goals, if the leader can persuade all of his subordinates to give their best performance.

Medco has run its business for almost 30 years. In that journey, Medco has generated many talented leaders who had shown their leadership skill by bringing this company into a higher level and also inspired all of Medco’s employees. Every leader is a unique person and everyone has its own character.

Yani Panigoro is one of the directors who have unique leadership character. She is special because she is one of a few women who successfully achieve strategic position in the board of director of Medco. Many employee and community admire her achievement and her track record in business. From her, every Medco’s employee can see that woman also has a leadership capability.

In 2012, The UN Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay called women all over the world to take a bigger part in the global leadership. That appeal based on research that shows the number of women all over the world who participated in parliament is only 19.3 percent. Moreover, only 12 from 500 companies listed in Forbes that has women in their strategic position. Discussion about the lacking of women participation in the public area is not something new for Yani Panigoro. “In my era, in 1975, the number of girl who studied in university was only 10 percent,” said Yani to describe the situation that she experienced in the past. She also admitted that in the past many husband prefer their wife worked as a housewife rather than having a career.

Growing in the era when the acceptance level for woman to work in the industrial sector was low did not make Yani Panigoro frustrated. She saw that situation as a challenge for herself to work harder than anyone else. After graduated from the faculty of Electrical Engineering at Institut Teknologi Bandung (ITB), she worked as a researcher in the Indonesian Institutes of Science (LIPI). After that, in 1989 with her information technology skill, she established computer course that only accepted woman students. In 1994, Yani started to take a part in Medco and in this company she was challenged to prove her capability as a leader.

Seeing her track record, starting from working in LIPI, held a computer course for women and then worked in the company that was belong to his brother, Arifin Panigoro, Yani showed that women can compete with men. “In the business sector, success is not dependent on your gender but on your track record,” said her. Based on that belief, Yani always encourage all of her subordinates to work hard and have self confidence. Those two character are Yani’s key success in the industrial sector so she can compete with all of her partner which majority of them were man.

In addition, Yani also believe that basically woman was gifted by special talents, such as multitasking capability. Yani gave an example about how a woman as a mother should take many responsibilities, such as raising her children, managing family finance, and doing so many domestic duties. “A mother by doing their domestic job has to handle so many duties. Those situation makes them get used to think and work in complex situations. That skill is an advantage for woman and they can use it when they have to become leader in the public area,” she said.

With that multitasking skill, Yani hoped all of her women staff can be more confident in pursuing their career in the company. Moreover, woman who pursue career in the industrial sector instead of being a housewife is something common these days. “As long as a woman work hard and really focused in their goal, I’m very sure that nobody will argue her leadership capability,” she said.


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