Herlin Herlianika - a professional in the RAC sector - works as a technical expert at the successful Green Chillers NAMA project in Indonesia, a project funded by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) and implemented by GIZ Proklima in cooperation with the Indonesian Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources. With the GCI newsletter team, she looked back at her impressive career and shared some thoughts about women in the RAC sector.
Here are some of her most important career steps:
- Graduate of ITB Polytechnic, major in RAC Engineering.
- Bachelor´s degree in Mechanical Engineering at Bandung Institute of Technology. From 1993 to 2007 lecturer at the Polytechnic for Refrigeration and Air Conditioning.
- Since 2007 RAC contractor focusing in industrial process and clean rooms technology.
- Active work in the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Indonesia Chapter, first female president 2016-2017, still at Chapter Board of Governors.
- Member of the TEAP's Refrigeration Technical Options Committee (RTOC), which develops a report evaluation for the Parties to the Montreal Protocol.
- Participation at the Technical Committees for Refrigeration and Air Conditioning of the National Standards Agency.
- Master trainer at the national professional assessment committee for the safe and environmentally friendly handling of flammable refrigerants.
And this is what she says:
"In the course of my career, I have met very few female colleagues. Usually, I met women in this sector who are employed in sales. Even though there are so many female graduated from Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Department of Polytechnics in Indonesia, they choose to be a sales or desk technical support not many choosing on site activities. That is unfortunately the reality and a big problem.
On my own career path, I have also often experienced that others did not believe in my abilities. I think this is the major challenge as a woman in this sector, that people doesn't trust about my best competencies until they saw by themselves that I can prove it with all my engineering knowledge, the ability to do the installation and good practices for the technicians work like welding, brazing, troubleshooting and repairing.
My exchange with other female engineers in this sector was very rare and meantime I am the most senior one. So I usually share my experiences and encourage them to continue the career in this sector because there are a lot of better opportunities for female in this sector, especially in my country.
It is essential to give women more incentives for their careers, such as interesting advertisements about employment opportunities with explicit promotion of women. There should also be more publications on the active role of women in this sector and a worldwide joint women's work with intensive promotion and information campaigns.
It is actually always good to be a woman in a so-called "male job", once they know our competencies and see that they are the same as those of men, they will appreciate it a lot."
By Herlin Herlianika