JAKARTA, (DN),- Women researchers hold an important part of the academic and research community. Many people acknowledge that women in general and women researchers have skills and working pattern that is distinctive from that of men, which makes their presence very important to the whole research and academic environment. Therefore, it is deemed necessary for women to be more active and engaged in research activities in academia, in particular, international research collaboration. To increase women engagement in international collaboration, the continuous empowerment, as well as knowledge on how to establish and run an effective international collaboration should be given.
To address this concern, the Center for Collaborative Research – National Center for Sustainable Transportation Technology, collaborating with Institut Teknologi Bandung and Pertamina University held a seminar called “The Seminar on Women Empowerment on Academic and Research Environment” at Universitas Pertamina on September 26, 2018. Some prominent woman researchers from various background had shared their experience and lesson learned on their journey in the academic and research field.
Women as a Leader: Balancing Family and Career
Prof. Dr. Irawati has served as Vice Rector of Resources and Organization at ITB since 2010. Many challenges and obstacles that she had encountered when contributing as a Vice Rector. Having another responsibility as a mother has built her motherly-instinct which then applied to her leadership principle. Irawati said that women, in general, has the ability to sense the need of others, this has resulted in her character as a caring leader.
The similar principle also agreed by Dr. Farah Mulyasari. She currently holds two structural positions in Universitas Pertamina: Vice Dean of Faculty of Business and Economics; and Vice Dean of Faculty of Diplomatic and Communication. Several research collaborations on disaster risk management, both national and international has also conducted. As a housewife, family has become the most precious thing to spend time with, thus family has become her comfort zone. Away from comfort-zone has shaped Farah into aspiring woman researcher, and also an inspiring mother for her family. The willingness to get out of from the comfort-zone and the courageous to deliver the aspiration are the valuable things which Farah holds until now.
Women in Research Environment
Another interesting experience when running the research with somehow dominated by men is also shared by Dr. Annisa Jusuf. She is an expert on computational mechanics, crashworthiness, and transportation safety. Many research and crash test have been conducted which has yielded into recommended vehicle structure configuration for safe riding. Supportive and gender-neutral environment has significantly contributed to raising Annisa to be the persistent woman researcher.
While the success of bearing the responsibility as the researcher and housewife is only the tip of the iceberg, there are hard-work, rejection, criticism and other bitter experiences rooted in it. Sidrotun Naim, Ph.D., has shared a different insight on embracing all the failures to be successful in the future. Earned three master’s degree from the University of Arizona in Environmental Science and Microbiology, also from John F. Kennedy School of Government in Public Administration has brought the abundance of valuable experiences as well as lessons for Naim. Always honoring history, capturing lessons, and laying the past to rest are the things that constantly build her success.
As the learning process goes by, the ability to overcome the hurdle is also sharpened. This has become the beneficial lesson from Ernawati Arifin Giri-Rachman, Ph.D. Her research on development and commercialization of Hepatitis B diagnostic kit has brought the different challenges, especially when it comes to working with industry. The creative and visionary mind is the powerful weapon to cope with the product-oriented atmosphere. Besides, the highly-competent team to professionally handle both research and management function are the crucial aspects on collaborating with industry.***
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