Over breakfast, Indonesian leaders discuss women’s empowerment

Attended by more than 40 prominent Indonesian leaders, the event highlighted women’s issues. Participants considered advancement initiatives, shared knowledge, and discussed key recommendations to be included in the final G20 communique. Anu Madgavkar, Partner at the McKinsey Global Institute, Vidhya Ganesan, Partner based in Sri Lanka, Phillia Wibowo, Partner at the Indonesia office, and McKinsey’s Southeast Asia Chairman Kaushik Das were there.

Indonesian leaders and businesspeople gather for the W20 Leaders' Breakfast
Indonesian leaders and businesspeople gather for the W20 Leaders’ Breakfast
Indonesian leaders and businesspeople gather for the W20 Leaders' Breakfast

Drawn from ministries, state-owned enterprises and companies, the attendees brought with them expertise in a variety of sectors—technology, banking, telecommunications, consumer goods, education, and nonprofit organizations. McKinsey’s Wibowo, Ganesan, and Madgavkar hosted and guided discussion, bringing their experience as well as insights from McKinsey’s Asia-focused 2018 “Power of Parity” report.

The event began by addressing five priority issues for women in the G20 economies: discrimination, women-owned and -led MSMEs, challenges faced by rural women and women with disabilities, and health-sector challenges. The W20 Indonesia Chair and Co-chair then presented seven enablers for advancement: policy, education, labor and leadership participation, infrastructure, digital infrastructure, performance monitoring, and data transparency.

The power of parity: Advancing women's equality in Indonesia

The Power of Parity: Advancing women’s equality in Indonesia

The McKinsey team went on to host a knowledge-sharing session, drawing on the “Power of Parity” report. A live panel discussion explored the significance of the W20 recommendations in the business community and society.

Panelists agreed on the importance of gender equality, and the need to include it in Indonesia’s long-term planning and investment. They pointed out that these priorities are in line with ongoing agendas driven by the Indonesian government, such as gender budget tagging and the advancement of women leadership in boardrooms. The discussion highlighted how some enablers are interrelated—for example, closing the education gender gap can increase women’s labor-force participation.

The panel discussion closed with remarks from Indonesian Minister of State-Owned Enterprises, Erick Thohir, who shared the Ministry’s bold action plan to empower women, as well as its recent achievements—such as the more than 90 percent increase in the number of PNM Mekaar’s ultra-microloan beneficiaries. Minister Thohir encouraged stakeholders to take real action to empower women now.

I hope stakeholders can continue to collaborate on strengthening women’s potential in the business and professional world.

Minister of State-Owned Enterprises, Erick Thohir

An open-floor discussion saw Indonesia’s potential empowerment goals addressed in more detail, including:

  • Boosting infrastructure investments in rural areas by 25 percent to reduce unpaid care work
  • Aiming for a 50 percent presence of women in high-level decision-making and leadership positions
  • Establishing targets for procurement from women-owned MSMEs, for example 10 percent by 2032
  • Ending the gender pay gap across fields and sectors
  • Setting mandated gender quotas for hiring and retaining persons with disabilities, e.g. no less than three percent

Of these, participants agreed that the hardest to achieve would be increasing infrastructure investment in rural areas and setting hiring quotas (exhibit).

Indonesia can take several actions to address women's empowerment goals

The discussion session also touched on other crucial topics, such as the need for collaboration between public and private sectors, the action plan for Indonesia beyond the W20 and G20 Summit, and the importance of developing an impactful and inclusive training and educational program for women-owned and -led MSMEs.

Overall, the leaders’ breakfast not only validated W20 recommendations, but also enriched them. W20 urges the G20 leaders to adopt these recommendations into the final Leaders’ Declaration, and further, to ensure that the initiatives discussed are actioned beyond the Summit.

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