National Mother's Day, a Time to Talk about 3 ITB's Inspiring Women

By Zoealya Nabilla Zafra

Editor -

JAKARTA, – It is a general convention that a mother is an important figure; a figure who is willing to wake up early to cook or going back several times to her child’s bedroom to wake him/her up, and the most important one, giving birth to the next generation. Mother’s day celebration is done both internationally and nationally to express love and gratitude to mothers.

In Indonesia, Mother’s day is celebrated on 22 December every year. This date is officially announced by President Sukarno under the Presidential Decree number 316 in 1959, on the 25th commemoration of Indonesian Women’s Congress. The date was chosen to celebrate the spirit of Indonesian Women and to raise women’s nation and state awareness, but that objective changed as time passed by. Today, mother’s day celebration is more common to express love to mothers.

In ITB, there are so many mother figures that, not only take care of their children, but also inspire women and men alike in their respective field of knowledge.

Dr. Ir. Melia Laniwati Gunawan, M.S.

Serving as the Head of Food Engineering Study Program, a lecturer at Chemical Engineering and Food Engineering Study Programs, as well as a researcher in Chemical Kinetics and Catalysis, do not make this lecturer who is usually called Bu Mel forgets her responsibility as a housewife.

Besides being active in international journal publication, together with Dr. Maria Ulfah, a Doctoral program graduate in Chemical Engineering, she pioneered the birth of Merah Putih Catalyst. This catalyst is the first commercial catalyst made in Indonesia whose function is to neutralize waste elements in gasoline in hydrotreating process. PT Pertamina do not need to import hydrotreating catalyst anymore thanks to Merah Putih Catalyst.

By becoming the pioneer of Merah Putih Catalyst and the partner of PT Pertamina RU-II Dumai, Bu Mel has to go to factory and see the process of making the catalyst and/or the usage directly. She also is not afraid to work in dangerous and men-dominated factory environment.

She is also the awardee of Penghargaan 25 Tahun ITB (2012), Satyalancana Karya Satya XX (2010), and Satyalancana Karya Satya X (2001).

Ir. Betti Alisjahbana

An architecture program graduate, president director of PT IBM Indonesia (2000-2008), founder of PT Quantum Business International (2008-now), Independent Commissary of PT Garuda Indonesia Tbk (2012-2014), Chair of ITB Board of Trustees (2014-now), and many other positions do not make this strong woman stop. Even though she is a graduate of architecture undergraduate program, it does not limit her activity to one field. Seeing unfavorable opportunity for architecture when she just graduated, this head of National Research Council from 2009 to 2015 does not hesitate to take non-degree education in a marketing school in Hong Kong in 1986.

Further, she continued her non-degree education in other areas, such as Finance for Marketing in Sydney, Australia (1995), Business Management Institute in Armonk, USA (1996), Asia Pacific Leadership Workshop in Singapore (1997), Global Leadership Workshop in Armonk, USA (1999), and Asia Pacific Global Leadership Development in Tokyo, Japan (2001).

PT Quantum Business International that she build is based on her passion to engage in business training and marketing. “That is my passion, I want to directly involve in training,” she said. The other reason is because she thinks Indonesia need more entrepreneurs. “I think Indonesia need entrepreneurs and I decided to be an entrepreneur,” she said.

This writer of “Tiap Detik Bermakna” always try to get home at 7 p.m so that she can have dinner with her family. Moreover, she loves singing, cooking, and gardening.

Nyoman Anjani, S.T.

This President of K3M 2013/2014 is also an inspiring ITB alumna. Besides graduating from Mechanical Engineering in 2014 with honor, this woman was also a semifinalist of the prestigious Puteri Indonesia in 2010.

A leading program that is still sustained since her time is Ekspedisi Pelita Muda. There, ITB students could choose a region from all over Indonesia to be developed according to the need of the region. “We just want ITB students to see the world, see how beautiful Indonesia is, and see how community need our action as students,” she said firmly.

Even though she served as the President of K3M, Nyoman Anjani is far from arrogant. She used to say, “As a leader, we must not be arrogant. An arrogant leader is not appreciated by community. I will try to be a humble leader and listen to anybody who cares about student affairs.” This woman, who is currently working at PT Unilever Indonesia Tbk, also loves painting and hiking.

“Happy Mother’s Day, a day that reminds us of the struggle of Indonesian women 89 years ago about the importance of women’s role in building our nation. It also reminds us of the grace of a mother who gives birth and raises us. May all mothers be blessed with health and power to prepare for the future generation of this nation.” said Rector of ITB, Prof. Dr. Kadarsah Suryadi.

Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers, future mothers, and all women in Indonesia; keep fighting for women’s right and the betterment of our country.

Photo Source: resource persons

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