Standing Firm – Story of a WIT

This is my first blog for T-SQL Tuesday. The theme for this month is Standing-Firm, which could be a story relating to one of these words: resolve, resolution, or resolute. I picked resolute.

My story is in relation to Women In IT/Engineering. Looking back, the first woman in Engineering, I have known, is my mum. Growing up, I was aware about this but never really gave it the proper recognition it deserved. Today I would like to do that.

I was born and grew up in the tropical country of Indonesia, where, as a child I learned so much about the limitations and boundaries that females could face. I became interested in data, specifically business data, in my early teens as my parents owned a business supplying standard and custom nuts and bolts. While their business was small it did well enough to keep all four children fed and educated.

One of my role models and inspirations is my mum. For 45 years, she has managed the day-to-day goings on within the workshop, negotiating deals, organising stocks and giving advise to engineers. Her understanding did not come from school (as she only finished year 8), but from practical experience that she learned from my dad and peers. There were no associations in Indonesia designed to help women in Engineering or IT. She came from a poor family, with little education, but she did it all. She raised four children and embedded these principles when we were growing up: passion, determination and helping others.

My mum has lived a very interesting and admirable life. For just over 14 years while I was still living under the same roof as my parents, my mum always said that “Our gender should never inhibit us from pursuing our dreams”. I held on to that, moved out of home and left Indonesia to live in Australia so I could pursue studying IT in high school and university. While studying IT, it was not uncommon that I would be the only girl, or the only one from a non-English speaking background. This didn’t quiver my passion for or my determination to excel in IT. Even with entering IT at a professional level, it is still not uncommon to be the only female in my area. I have become so used to this situation that I don’t see gender difference as an issue.

Map of places I have lived in

In 2012, I was determined that I wanted to learn more and to help others, by blogging and speaking at community events. I was nervous, not because I was a female, because I considered myself inexperienced compared to some others. Even so, if my blog posts or presentations could help even one person, I would be happy. My determination to help others has helped me to overcome my nervousness and learnt more about SQL Server. PASS and #SQLFamily have also been very supportive in this.

This year, I want to become a more confident speaker and a more knowledgeable SQL professional who helps and learns from #SQLFamily. I also want to be involved more with Women in IT activities via PASS and on personal level. My Women in IT/Engineering inspiration started with my mum at a young age, and I would like to help other females to pursue their professional dreams. We should be able to show our abilities within the workplace and still embrace our female nature (for me this would include my inability to open jars, but that’s why jar opener was invented, right?). We are all unique, female or male.


This post is dedicated to my mum.

“Our gender should never inhibit us from pursuing our dreams” – Paulin Koesmarno

Wrap Up

Thank you to Jason Brimhall (b | t) for hosting TSQL Tuesday – Standing Firm this month. The original invitation is available here.  The rules for participation are in the invite. You can also read others’ submissions for the theme this month.

If you are a PASS Member and interested in Women in IT events and activities, please check our website here.


10 comments on “Standing Firm – Story of a WIT
  1. Excellent post Julie. Thanks for sharing. And for what it’s worth I find you to be an exceptional IT professional. Thanks for helping me as a first timer and introducing me to your #SQLFamily!

  2. Great post…your mum seemed amazing…the best teachers are the ones who learned organically…looking forward to meet you at some point.

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