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Happy International Women’s Day (IWD) 2020! This year’s IWD emphasizes the importance of gender equality, under the theme of ‘Collective Individualism’.

We’ve got an abundance of talent here APRIL Group, so we decided to commission members of the Riau Andalan Photography Club (KOPRAL) to take portraits of some of their female colleagues across all our different departments and offices.

Hear from eight of the women below:

Artauli Agustina

Environment Officer at Pelalawan Estate

As an Environment Officer, I carry out environmental monitoring and management – checking that all the plants, animals, soil, water, and air quality in our estate are in good condition. I think my work benefits both the environment as well as the people around me, and getting to work both in the office as well as outdoors in the field is pretty fun. I was definitely a bit apprehensive at first, as the only female Estate Environment Officer at Riau Fibre. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to meet the company’s expectations, but I soon realized that if you’re enthusiastic and well-meaning, and willing to learn and cooperate, most things usually turn out well. The goal is to be part of a team which creates a fun work environment and works together towards the same environmental sustainability goals. I think APRIL Group clearly provides equal opportunities to women and men at every level. Ultimately, it’s up to us to work hard and determine our area of passion, and the company will be able to see where we fit best.

Niska Ziliwu

Lab Assistant at Kerinci Technology Centre Lab

My job is to prepare our seedlings to be transferred from the lab to the nursery and I really enjoy it. I’ve learned how important it is to be meticulous, and the level of care I have for these plants is the same as that I have for my own family! It can be pretty hard sometimes when I have to climb up to move plants on or off a high shelf (as they can be quite heavy) but honestly, anyone who’s determined can do it. I’m glad that everyone gets equal treatment in my workplace, with both female and male employees working well together as a team.

Syarly Susan

Safety & Health Data Analysis Officer cum Admin Officer at OHS Department

I monitor and analyse any accidents that may occur in the fiber operational areas in Kerinci, summarising them in reports. In my opinion, there really is no difference between females or males in the field of safety, although I do think that women are more maternal by nature, so we do tend to worry a bit more! Safety is really important to me – in the workplace as well as at home. I’m happy to be working at APRIL, where gender equality is obvious with all women and men having the same opportunities.

Ajeng Arerimaslona

Production Scheduling Assistant at Forest Planning Department

I help to draft the Integrated Operation Plan (IOP) that our estates have to adhere to, as well as ensure that they’re actually adhering to it. It’s a great job that allows me to work with many people – from the staff in the plantations to those in sector planning – which is something I truly enjoy. Being the only woman in our IOP team has never once been a hindrance to my work or career, and I’m glad to say I actually have full support from all my co-worker and superiors at this company.

Ratih Saraswati

Batik Crafter at Rumah Batik Andalan

In my opinion, all of the women who work here at Rumah Batik Andalan are really strong and determined. I think a lot of people underestimate the art of making batik without knowing that it is actually quite heavy work that requires a combination of physical strength, creativity and artistic skills. Thankfully I think I have all those qualities, and I truly find pleasure in making bono batik with beautiful motifs.

Lasma Elfrida

Teacher at Mutiara Harapan School

I teach the youngest students in the school: the four to six year olds. Teaching kids of this age range can be challenging especially at the start when they are so young and don’t even know about basic numbers or quantities yet. But I enjoy encouraging them to learn and practice, and witnessing their eventual learning progress. As a teacher at school and mother-of-two at home, I’m actually quite proud of myself since every week day, I work eight hours at school as a teacher and then I go home to become a teacher to my own kids!

Melisana

Planting Operator at Kerinci Nursery 2

I believe APRIL is committed to achieving gender equality, just by the way it clearly gives the same opportunity to both women and men to grow in their respective fields. Of course, there are some jobs which women may prefer over others. I think caring for plants and ensuring they grow up to be strong and healthy does require a high level of patience and thoroughness – I feel like I’m basically a doting mother caring for a child when I’m watching my seedlings in the nursery.

Dila Permata Sari

Staff member at Rumah Madu Andalan

Gender equality can be better achieved when women do not limit themselves. I think it pays off if you work hard - and the women who I work with are definitely hard workers! There’s a great pleasure in packing honey and knowing that it’s a product that other people can eventually enjoy. But it does come with some challenges, such as having to ensure that the weight of the honey packed in each bottle is no more or no less, and that the correct labels are pasted properly and clearly onto the bottles.

Meet the Photographers!

Doris Debora

Fiber Safety Officer at OHS Department

It’s been three years since I joined the Photography Club – it felt like I encountered a treasure trove when I first met the other photography enthusiasts in our company. We often arrange photo hunting events where I get to gain photography tips and advice from the senior members in this club.

Taking Artauli’s photo was a particularly memorable experience since it took place at Tasik Anggerek, RAPP’s conservation site in our Pelalawan Estate. We had to go far into the jungle to find the Kantung Semar plant you see in the photo, and my feet were bitten by many leeches. But it was worth it since the photo met my expectations.

Henri Putra

Dispatcher at Woodyard PTSI

It was a special moment when I took the photo of Melisana in KCN 2 because we were hosting President Jokowi in the nursery at the time. While waiting for the right moment to capture a nice photo, I roamed around the nursery and was amazed by its beauty. I think that to us photographers, the nursery is a perfect spot to hunt for beautiful photos. This was actually my first time visiting KCN 2 and I hope to revisit soon.

I joined KOPRAL three years ago. I love photography and I’m a self-taught photographer! Joining the club really helped my confidence in taking photos to grow, and I’m grateful that the club exists in Riau Complex. We welcome anyone who’s interested to join us.