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null Indria Pujiastuti: Starts with A Dream Until Becoming the First Indonesian Female Police Pilot

Indria Pujiastuti: Starts with A Dream Until Becoming the First Indonesian Female Police Pilot

In the spirit of commemorating International Women’s Day, Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) Sinar Mas will highlight three inspiring women who have been passionately contributing in their roles. One of them is Indria Pujiastuti, a helicopter pilot from APP Sinar Mas Jambi Region. She told us about her experience working in a male-dominated role. 

Your profession as a helicopter pilot is crucial to help monitor forest and land fires in surrounding areas. Tell us about your daily routine! 

As a helicopter pilot water bombing, I start my day preparing flight operations. First, calculating flight distance, checking fuel reserves, overall to ensure that the aircraft is fit to fly based on the safety regulations. This profession is indeed full of risks and challenges, which requires me to keep my mind and body in great condition. Having enough rest and routine exercise are important to maintain focus, so I can do my job properly which includes monitoring several areas. 

Why do you want to become a pilot – it’s such a risky and challenging profession? 

Ever since I was a little girl, I had always aspired to be a pilot one day. I think it is exciting and has its own challenges. Furthermore, I can contribute directly to give a significant impact on my surroundings, in this case, is to prevent forest and land fires. I am blessed to be part of APP Sinar Mas and able to pursue my passion and being accepted for who I am without any gender bias. I receive the same trainings and opportunities, just like my fellow male pilots. 

How is your journey until you decided to be a pilot? Did you face any challenges? 

Before I became a pilot, I was a flight attendant at the Indonesian National Police (POLRI) until 2013. At that time, I was still hold on to the dream of becoming a pilot, thus, in 2014, I decided to take a Private Pilot License (PPL). Then, in 2016, I started my career as the first Indonesian who became both a female police officer and a helicopter pilot. Then in 2020, I finally decided to take early retirement as a police officer and focus on being an aviator. There are many challenges when I pursue my dream to become a pilot many have doubts and felt underestimated that I may or may not pass the certification and qualified to be a pilot. Again, I was reminded that this is what I want, so I overcame all my fears and insecurities. I think the push factors that allowed me to get through is because I had a sense of purpose, and I was passionate about what I wanted to do. I was very grateful to have been given the chance and opportunity to grow and achieved my dream. 

You are truly an inspiration to all of us with your persistence and determination despite many challenges you have been facing in pursuing your dream to become a pilot. But is there any stereotype or bias after being a female pilot? 

I am aware the profession of aviation pilot is still dominated by male workers. Indeed, it comes with difficult tasks, ensuring flights operate as safely as possible and we also need to work in the forest, in secluded places, and away from the family within certain period of time. I guess I can see why not many people are interested in this job. However, when I took the job it wasn’t as difficult as one would imagine. And I’m grateful that working in here after becoming a pilot, I don’t face any stereotype or bias. We have the same trainings and opportunities; the team pursue one goal – safety as our main priority. My family support my career, I am also a blessed mom who has a thoughtful son that understands and supports me in doing my job – especially when I have to be away from home due to the nature of the job. That is my biggest support for me to thrive in my career. 

You have such an amazing journey and opportunity to make your dream come true no matter what the bias or stereotype is. Do you have anything to say to all women out there to dare to dream, and to those who still have the stereotype of working women? 

I always believe that anyone deserve to dream and to have their dreams come true. All we need is to strive in pursuing the dream, be optimistic and always believe in ourselves that one day we accomplish it, and also, we have to keep praying. With all those work and positive attitudes, I think we can prove that women not only have to be or work in the kitchen or behind the desk, but also can be excel in many ways, and many fields wherever we want to be. I believe, there is always an opportunity that awaits us. I hope there are more women who dare to dream and able to break any stereotype especially when choosing a career. For me personally, I am blessed and more than grateful for the place I am working now where I don’t feel any gender discrimination, and I hope other places could do that too – giving everyone an equal opportunity. 

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