I just like technology since I was a young girl. I was so fascinated with internet and I did not even know at that time that technology could be a choice for my career."
Flash forward, and 22-year old Hastu is now a technical information student at the Islamic University of Sunan Kalijaga (UIN) Yogyakarta and has known as a young developer at Wonder Koding, a developer community for deaf. Despite her passion with the technology, she first thought that she could not become a developer because of her hearing impaired.
However, when she joined the Indonesian Google Developer Student Club, she has further learnt about Android technology. Together with her working partner, she has developed an application name Sukacare to help connecting the blind with sight volunteers.
I had to learn and work four times harder as I was the only deaf student in the club. Yet, I just challenged myself to continue learning and to think positive."
“I had to learn and work four times harder as I was the only deaf student in the club. Yet, I just challenged myself to continue learning and to think positive,” she told in sign language.
For the future, she would continue to improve the application to help facilitating people with vision and speech impairments. “I love coding. I aspire to continue my study and to start my own start-up business in the future,” she said, smiling.
To continue inspiring more women to be involved in the STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) fields and people with disabilities to be more inclusive, Hastu has also been an active speaker, sharing her life journey and her passion. She has been involved in the ILO activities related to the empowerment of women in STEM and the promotion of equal opportunity for people with disabilities.
“Our society still has lack of knowledge about women in STEM. STEM-related fields are still considered as men’s jobs and do not fit with the woman’s world. Therefore, we need to educate teachers and parents about STEM. STEM is not only for boys, but it is also girls. We have a choice as an individual,” she stated, adding that she felt lucky to have a full support from her family to pursue a career in STEM-related fields.
The technology provides us with more opportunities and chances. We just have to open ourselves to all possibilities."
She was one of the speakers for the ILO’s interactive talkshow on inclusivity titled “Future of Work, No One Left Behind” last year, aimed to raise the awareness on how technology could provide greater opportunity for people with disabilities. She was also one of the speakers at the recent ILO interactive discussion in February titled “Women and Future of Work: Insights from Women in STEM,” aimed to promote greater participation of women in STEM-related fields.