Sharing Session: Thrive In Men’s World


Oct 7th 2020 was a n exciting day for me.
I had a chance and honor to talk in Women In Agile meetup.
The topic was quite interesting, THRIVING IN MAN’S WORLD
*I think it should be Men’s instead of Man’s

I will share with you whatever I shared in the meetup.
Basically this was “script” I drafted days before the meetup to get the points in my mind written.

Thrive In Men’s World

To be honest, when I received this title, my mind couldn’t accept that 100%

I was start to think (and even put that in my linkedin timeline) that

“Why do we have to say it Men’s World?
There’s only 1 world which Men and Women live together in it.
Why can’t we just say How We Thrive In This World?”

anna’s mind 😀

When I looked at the , the number of male in this world is only slightly higher than the number of female

click for source
04 Oct 2020 4:19 PM

So it should not be MEN’s WORLD – that will be selfish for men to claim this world is theirs.

What’s different?
What caused this title to pop up?

I firstly wrote another (and completely different) script for this meetup and discussed it with my colleague, which is a woman too 🙂

Some of the discussions were mentioning that, we usually:

  • Address The leader of a company as a chairman, not a chairwoman or chairperson
  • Address God as HE not SHE
  • Thought our kids that boys should be light to girls because they are weaker and boys needs to guard girls
  • etc

We came to the conclusion that:

  • it is what happened in the society
  • it is ingrained in the human’s brain
  • it is what it is
  • it is the reality that we have to face

The world somehow believe that

  • men have more power and influence
  • men have more opportunities
  • men are logic and analytic
  • men ruled women – even there’s an old Indonesian song about it (Sabda Alam – Ebet Kadarusman) 😀

Do you want to stick to those belief and accept it just the way it is?



To challenge your believe a little bit and help you to see different perspective, there are lots of women who are super successful in this world.
Leading companies, leading countries, starting a social movement, giving impact to the world.
Let’s mention some of them:

What makes them different?
What makes them can stand up and making impact?

Simon Sinek in one of his talkshow with Larry King said that there are strengths in women than mostly men don’t have.
He mentioned: patience, empathy, caring.
He said it will be great for leaders to have those characters.

Do you ever heard that women are stronger than men?

  • WHO website states that
    • Women generally live longer than males – on average by six to eight years
    • Newborn girls are more likely to survive to their first birthday than newborn boys are.
  • Women can do more work than men.
  • Women can be a mom and a professional on the same time.
    • If you are in a workplace then you basically living 2 jobs at the same time, at work and at home
      Can you recall yourself (if you’re a mom) — arranging birthday party, replying your child’s teacher’s whatsapp, planning for groceries, etc and at the same time also thinking on what you’re going to discuss in the next meeting with your colleagues?
      Not to mention got a call from your crying children who had a fight at home while you have to complete a very urgent management report.
    • Women can stay up all night nursing her baby and yet still wake up in the next morning going to office like she took 8 hrs of sleeping.
  • I have witnessed working women, supporting family financial, work from morning to 7 or 8 at night, going home, still do the housework, teach her kids about school works and yet still have time for her husband and kids.
    I have also witnessed working men, working from morning to 7 or 8 at night, go home and said “don’t disturb me, I am tired of working” 😀

This picture might give you a visual understanding

Well I don’t want to go to the discussion about mars vs venus or who is stronger than who.
What I’m trying to say is that we – women – are not weak.

Women are strong.

Whatever that had been planted in our mind, or whatever the “reality” is, should not stop us from making impact.
Start looking at yourself differently. Fix your self-image. How you perceive yourself.

Change start from inside yourself.

Once you get it right inside you, it will be easier (not to say easy) to work it on outside with other people.

About Me In Workplace

I want to tell you a story about me in Allianz. The 4th company I work for.
This is my 16th year of working in Allianz as IT person.

I started my career since 2000 and all of that are in IT field.
A field where mostly men working.

Currently, apart from a Scrum Master and an Agile Coach, I am also one of 4 Engineer Managers in Allianz IT Division.
Together with each of the Engineer Managers, there are Software Engineer Leaders as well.
The total of the leaders in our Software Engineer Departments +- 30 people … with only 2 women, me and one of the Software Engineer Leader.

Yes, definitely I’m living amongst men 😀

Allianz Engineer Managers, Software Engineer Leaders and Architects

How do I “thrive” there?

I started the work in 2000 as a photoshop editor in a startup company – a part job when I still in University, to a web designer, then a web developer.

In 2004, after working in 3 different companies, I moved to Allianz as a web developer.
Some years after, there was an opportunity to be a Business Analyst, then a System Analyst.
About 4 years ago there was another opportunity to become a Project Coordinator, then a Scrum Master, an Agile Coach and the latest is an Engineer Manager.

Were fate and faith brought me there? Probably.
But fate and faith only are not enough.

I was not always like now, my career was somehow stuck for 10 years or so.
Going under the radar, just do as told, etc.

Every time I want to climb a ladder or plan to do so, either I got married, my leader resigned … or I got pregnant 😀 – well I got pregnant 5 times with 2 survived girls… so that sum up the years.
There’s another discussion for that… Woman Biological Clock VS Career Clock.
We can discuss that some other time or maybe later today when we have time.

What I’m trying to say is that I experienced most of the blockers that working women might face.

The turning back time was actually when I started to “raise my hand” for an opportunity.
Proactively asked for a challenge to my leader that time and told my leader that I don’t want to stuck here forever.
I took some trainings and readings that enrich me as a professional. Even when no one ask me to do it.
I even started to transform my team to work using Scrum Framework, without no one asked that because I learned about Scrum and I thought it will work great for my team.
Kept showing result for what I believe will turn current situation into a better one.

Being proactive, looking and grabbing opportunity, enrich yourself, make yourself known and all that, are general things.
Not only for women.

But what I have seen happening

women tend to be more passive in “raising hand” and grabbing opportunities.

I started to get on my feet and walk. The smallest step I could make.
Reach as far as my hand could reach.

Had a big dream, but work on reality.


Working on my circle of influence and see if I can make it bigger.

Plant on my mind that a ripple can create a wave.

There are some suggestions I can give to you:

  • Fix how you perceive yourself.
  • Be authentic – or some people say be yourself
  • Know your strength and limitations
    • Use your strength to give more impact
    • Never use your limitation as an excuse
    • Communicate your limitation – be open and honest (as part of being authentic)
    • Manage your limitation, don’t hide behind it as excuses
  • Maximize your circle of influence and grow it
  • Show result
    IMO, people are seen by their result.
    When you show a great result, make great impact, people will less likely judge by your gender.
  • Find a support system
    Support system is very important.
    There will be some times when you will feeling down, hitting the wall, don’t know what to do, giving up.
    There will be some times when you need support from other women, other moms, etc.
    Find a community (maybe like this one), read more related articles, watch more related videos.

Last but not least, how you see yourself is the key of all.

A quote I took from Enola Holmes movie:

There are two parts of future you can choose.
Yours and the one they choose for you
Our future is up to us

Enola’s Mom

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