In this issue of #MakingHERStory, we sat down with our Senior Manager for Micro Finance, Sri Ayu Puspasari. Demure and soft-spoken in appearance, Ayu has taken FS by storm in her command of the Micro Finance team. Let’s hear what it takes to become a high-confidence leader!
Influence and inspiration
Tell us about a leadership lesson that you’ve learnt that’s unique to being a woman leader?
Be true to yourself. Vulnerability and honesty are an asset in leadership; without them, you will never be able to influence others around you. So It’s okay to make mistakes and sometimes there is no right or wrong decision-making. All you have to do is trust yourself, trust your gut and be confident in making decisions.
Have you drawn professional inspiration from other women? Tell us about someone who has inspired you
Yes, it is from Himanshu Bhatia, (Founder and CEO of Rose International). She shared this powerful sentence which I loved: “As a leader, it’s a major responsibility on your shoulders to practice the behaviour you want others to follow“. This inspirational quote always pushes me to improve myself and always be respectful of how I treat other people. For instance, I always try to put myself in someone else’s shoes before taking a decision as a leader.
What energizes you about work?
I love working because I love to accomplish new things. I love to challenge myself, explore my full potential and at the same time, inspire others. Working is also one of the ways to set an example for my kid: nothing worth comes easy. We dare, we fight, we fall, we get back up.
What advice would you give to the next generation of women leaders?
Leadership isn’t about a job, a role or a status. It’s about having something you believe in and using it to inspire others to want to be the best they can be whilst creating the environment for them to do so – individually but more importantly, together. To achieve this great environment, you have to be authentic and consistent. This needs to apply in your words and in your actions; during good times and tough times. You need to be comfortable with the concept of being marmite. Not everyone will like you or what you do, but that’s easier to bear if you stay true to your own values and know you are doing the right thing aligned with your purpose. That purpose can be altruistic, artistic, business focused or even better, a combination of the three. Until you find your purpose, you will only be managing, however effectively. But, when you find it you will lead. And when you do it AS yourself and NOT FOR yourself, you truly lead.
How has FSMK empowered you to #breakthebias and be the leader you are today?
FSMK is really supportive of its employees, especially women and mothers. I feel encouraged by all the team members and leadership. I can say that there is room for me to be my true self, I feel accepted. All in all, I am glad to be part of the FSMK team!
How should women support other women in their organizations?
- Have a gathering session to share stories about the ups and downs of professional and personal life
- No discrimination against others
- Holding hands together when others need courage, giving her a push when she needs it, and keep reminding her of her talents and abilities.
Self-confidence is indeed a ‘wow’ factor in women’s leadership and Ayu is a stellar example of that. Stay tuned as we bring you more inspiring stories from our very own FSMK women leaders as part of the #MakingHERStory campaign.