Herb Feith Dialogue: Women in Leadership
Another top highlight of the Centre’s activities in 2019 is our third Herb Feith Dialogue, and the first to be held in Indonesia, featuring H.E. Dr Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Minister of Finance, Republic of Indonesia, sharing her insightful perspective on ‘Women in Leadership’ (18/11/2019, Jakarta).
Before taking questions from moderator (Professor Sharon Pickering, Dean of Arts), Minister Indrawati mesmerised the audience with her gentle yet powerful message about different forms of discrimination inflicted upon career women of diverse backgrounds. Many of her instructive examples prompted nodding heads across the fully packed hall. Working women are constantly confronted with unfair scrutiny, contradictory expectations, insidious restrictions and irritating questions and comments never asked to their male counterparts. She reminded us, gender equality should not be seen primarily as a slogan to make us feel good or politically correct. Instead, it is a fundamental condition for the greater benefit of social life as a whole.
Dr Sri Mulyani Indrawati earned Ph.D of Economics from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign (USA, 1992). She was the Executive Director of International Monetary Fund (IMF) representing 12 countries in the South East Asia (SEA Group) in 2002. She was appointed to serve as the Minister of Finance in 2005. In 2006, Sri Mulyani was crowned as the best Minister of Finance in Asia by the Emerging Markets in the sidelines of World Bank and IMF’s Annual Session in Singapore; as the 23rd world’s most influencing woman from Forbes magazine in 2008 and the 2nd most influencing woman in Indonesia from Globe Asia magazine in 2007. She was appointed as the Executive Director of World Bank in 2010. President Joko Widodo inaugurated Sri Mulyani Indrawati as the Minister of Finance in his Working Cabinet in 2016, and again in October 2019. On February 11th, 2018, the World Government Summit has announced her as the best minister in the world.
The formalities of the evening began with welcome speeches from Professor Margaret Gardner (Vice-Chancellor & President of Monash University) and HE Gary Quinland (Australian Ambassador to Indonesia). Professor Ariel Heryanto (Director of the Herb Feith Centre) was the Master of Ceremony.
Approximately 100 attendees came from a wide variety of professions and backgrounds. In addition to selected Monash University partners and star alumni in Indonesia, a number of Indonesia’s top public figures were present, including awarding winning authors (Leila S Chudori, Ayu Utami and Dee Lestari); film industry celebrities (Mira Lesmana and Riri Reza) newly emerging politicians (Grace Natalie and Tsamara Amany); and musician (Addie MS).