On March 8 every year, International Women’s Day is celebrated all around the world to recognize the contributions and achievements of women across various communities while calling for greater equality. This year, the theme “Make It Happen” aims to encourage effective action for advancing and recognizing women. In conjunction with this occasion, Microsoft Asia Pacific will be featuring female leaders from around the region, sharing their inspirations as well as words of advice for women hoping to #MakeItHappen in the technology industry and beyond.
Mira Fitria Soetjipto
HR Director, Microsoft Indonesia
Mira Fitria Soetjipto joined Microsoft as the Human Resources (HR) manager in June 2013 and was subsequently assigned as the HR lead in March 2014. Prior to Microsoft, she spent 12 years in Citi, where she started as a management associate in Consumer Banking and took on several roles before she was appointed as the regional management associate in Citi Asia Pacific Regional Learning and Development based in Singapore. This was her first venture into HR and it inspired her to pursue her career in that area. She was later relocated back to Jakarta where she assumed HR leadership roles within Citi.
What empowers you to Make It Happen at work and at home?
Whether it’s at the workplace or in my personal life, I believe in empowering others. I also believe that we need to dream big, and at the same time, take good care of oneself. The latter is important because as women in our society, we play so many roles in our daily life as a wife, mother, daughter, daughter-in-law, sister, etc. And that is just the personal side of things. Let’s not forget that there are also the roles we play at the workplace. So in between all the multi-tasking and taking care of others, we need to ensure we take good care of ourselves and be happy.
What advice would you give girls to help them reach their goals and Make It Happen?
Never let fear, doubt and people’s thoughts or words keep you away from being yourself and reaching for your dreams. The only barrier between ourselves and our goals is our own fear. The other important thing is to be nice and kind to your mother. Always.
What would you like to do more to inspire other women to take on leadership roles?
Have conversations with other women. Tell them that we don’t have to be perfect all the time. We sometimes feel that we need to carry the weight of the world on our shoulders. As a woman and a leader, imagine all the lives of other women that we can touch, empower and inspire.
Who are the women who inspire you the most, and why?
This may sound cliché but the person who has inspired me most is my mother. She worked in a bank for over 35 years and spent half her career there in the IT Department. As a girl, there was a period I tried so hard to be different from her. So growing up, whenever people asked me what I wanted to be, I have always answered “not in a bank, not in IT”. But here I am, having spent my entire career working in a bank and now in Microsoft. My mother is a successful career woman. However, when she came home she was able to put away work and focused on me. She inspired me to dream big, work passionately and always believe in myself. Whenever life throws curve balls at me, I know that she will be my cheerleader, cheering me on from the side lines, and always ready with a big hug.
What advice would you give to girls who are thinking about working in the technology field?
Never be intimidated, never hesitate to ask questions, and never be out of touch – this is a rapidly evolving industry and to keep up with it all, we need to be able to constantly cope with the ever changing trends, dynamics and pressures.
How does being a female leader help you make a difference?
As women, I believe we bring different perspectives to the table and by being able to share these opinions, we will be able to make a difference in the way organizations are run.
Do you currently support any female orientated causes outside of work? Tell us a bit more about the organization, what your involvement is and why it inspires you.
My husband and I experienced difficulty trying to conceive. We went through many treatments for years that I became quite an expert in the area, prior to finally being blessed with a beautiful baby daughter. Infertility is a taboo and sensitive subject for women in Indonesia. Because of my experience, my friends referred their friends or relatives who face similar challenges to me and there are more and more people coming to me for advice and sharing. Now in my spare time, I enjoy meeting them and doing informal sharings of knowledge and experience. It has become more of a personal cause for me.
At Microsoft, we strive to create an environment that helps us capitalize on the diversity of our people and the inclusion of ideas and solutions to meet the needs of our global and diverse customer base.
Find out more about our global diversity and inclusion programs here.
Read more about the experiences and inspirations from these female leaders in Microsoft Asia Pacific:
- Pip Marlow – Managing Director, Microsoft Australia
- Serena Cheung – Director of Small and Midmarket Solutions & Partners Group (SMS&P), Microsoft Hong Kong
- Sunny J. Park – Legal and Corporate Affairs Director, Microsoft Korea
- Rukmani Subramanian – Chief Marketing & Operations Officer, Microsoft Malaysia
- Jan Ferguson – Director of Customer & Partner Experience, Microsoft New Zealand
- Karrie C. Ilagan – Country General Manager, Microsoft Philippines
- Jessica Tan – Managing Director, Microsoft Singapore
- Flora Chen – Customer Service and Support Lead, Microsoft Taiwan
- Siriporn Pajharawat – Director of Developer Experience & Platform Evangelism (DX) Group, Microsoft Thailand
- Duong Thi Kim Anh – Human Resource Manager, Microsoft Vietnam