D’oh! As if it ain’t obvious.
Having spent 3 years of my life attending an all-girls high school (and afterwards, answering questions where people wonder what it felt like attending one.) and all my life, living with strong women in my family, women empowerment is something I am passionate about. Heck, my first business project in university was natural skincare business which mission statement and vision fall somewhere between the phrase “empowering women everywhere”.
So when I scrolled my Instagram one day and stumbled upon Resonation, a women empowerment conference, making it a pioneer in Indonesia, I was intrigued and quite excited for it. But to be completely honest, I didn’t get the ticket until 8 hours before the event started. The speaker line-up is quite impressive, ranging from Sophia Amoruso, the founder of Nasty Gal and #GirlBoss, to Stephanie Kurlow, the first hijabi ballerina in the world AND she’s still 15 years old, to Johan Ekengård, the initiator of Swedish Dads project, a country in which gender equality has prospered and progressed light years beyond other countries. Due to the nature of the speakers, all sessions were conducted in English.
I think it was an amazing event because it was really interactive, as attendees we could ask questions to the speakers directly and overall, had a very casual and positive vibes between attendees and the speakers. The reflection session where we were divided into small groups led by a woman facilitator, who excels at what she does best, was also insightful. My facilitator was Novita Yunus, a former banker at a prestigious multinational bank who is now the owner of Batik Chic. Since coincidentally everyone in my group was either a fresh graduate or currently pursuing Bachelor degree, the questions revolved around : professional/entrepreneur, how to deal with your team, and what if what you’re passionate about is not aligned with what you study in uni.
However, the highlight of the day was when Mbak Nina Moran, the co-founder of Resonation, herself took the stage. It was a deep, relatable and real conversation she had with each and everyone in the room. Really, for me she is the real definition of Girl Boss, she lives and breathe it. She sparked a conversation that I hope can’t and won’t be stopped ; the failures behind a success that is so rarely talked about, the double-edged sword of social media, and a quest for equality itself.
So, few takeaways or reminders I want to share with you from the event :
- Start somewhere and be focused.
- Forgive your mistakes and move on.
- Know the law and taxes (very important for you entrepreneurs).
- People will always try to take you down in any way and the worst part is, when we let ourselves believe them.
- The dream you have is only meant for you and it does not have to make sense for anyone, just you.
- Social media is useful and fun BUT it can be toxic.
- For all ladies, marriage is NEVER the answer or the end goal of your life. One of my wiser friends also said (and was again emphasised yesterday) that to find, attract. Which means that if you’re single and you want to find a partner, you need to take care of yourself first and it will naturally attract the testosterones.
- Rude, sexist and disrespectful coworker/schoolmates are still sadly abundant, we should take an attempt to understand why they are being that way towards women, standing up for ourselves in the process. (Yes it’s easier to tell them to fuck off but that doesn’t solve problems.)
- Ladies with higher income are sexy! Don’t shy away from opportunities and don’t hold back.
- This gender inequality comes from ignorance and insecurity. In fact regarding ignorance, I remember that one of my male friends made a remark about how women don’t need to pursue higher degree as they will eventually end up at home anyway. So in a way, by ignoring his comment I give my consent to allow that to happen.. but now I know better.
- Ugh really, too many and I enjoyed it a lot that I didn’t take much notes. Still letting it sink…
The sessions, some better than others, provide a good wake-up call for us ladies that there is no ideal path and no easy way to what we want to be but we are capable of so much more than we give ourselves credit for as long as we don’t let our own fear, doubt and feeling of incapability paralyse us.
Overall, an incredible first-time event, kudos and HUGE gratitude to Mba Nina Moran and team for making this kind of event happen in Indonesia, definitely a platform we need right now. And what’s better, the date for next year’s event is out : April 28, 2018. But it’s still a year away, so hopefully there is movement that keeps the momentum alive. And you, no reason not to go, maybe it will not change your life, maybe you will not find an epiphany, you will definitely, definitely learn something.
Until next time,