AN INTERVIEW WITH DR DIASWATI MARDIASMO FROM PRD REAL ESTATE
Why did you start your business or take the role that you're in now?
What inspires you and gets you out of bed in the mornings?
2. Other young, multicultural, muslim women - they inspire me to always excel at what I do. Whether it's my job, charity work, networking events, family life / decision making, and how I look at life in general - they remind me that I represent them and that I must always do my best.
3. My father inspires me and my mother gets me out of bed in the mornings. My father has always been "the man" in my greater family - his motto has always been "for family and country".
My mother gets me out of bed in the mornings because, well, awful as this sounds, I want to prove her wrong. My mother is my motivator, she pushes me time and time again to show the world that despite all odds, and despite how non-mainstream I am, that I CAN do it.
What's been the best lesson you've learned in business or your career and why?
There are MANY lessons that I have learned in the past 6 years of business - a few highlights:
1. Collaboration is win-win. The more you collaborate the more you win. This can apply in multiple situations - with your business network, your executive team, your department members.
2. Stay who you are. Along the way there will be times where you will have to defend your point of view or how you are wanting to run things. Yes take on the advice, and apply if applicable, however stay to being true to who you are and what is it that you want to achieve. There is a reason why you have been entrusted to run a department or a team, trust in your abilities.
3. Stay humble. Rice (the plant) becomes more inward/downwards when it's ripe, because it is full with nutrients. In comparison, rice (plant) that is still green (with no nutrients) stand taller. Yes you can be proud of what you have achieved and don't deny yourself of celebrating this, but let your work and achievements speak for itself - no need to trumpet it and become "uppity" or a "know it all" - trust that there are more successful people out there are "more" than you.
What does the future look like for you?
I would like to say that the future will be filled with my conquering the many challenges that I know are coming my way - whether it's work related (especially how to take things to the next level), family (impending divorce), social and cultural perception and commitments, and whatever else the universe decides to throw at me; WITHOUT losing who I am as a person. Some would say that I am a romantic-realist, and I truly am. I dream big, I see the sunshine / light at the end of the tunnel, I practice gratitude, etc - but I also know that there will be periods of despair, annoyances, late nights to get the deadline, and juggling multiple commitments.
What is your boldest move to date?
Another bold move I made was to re-vamp how “junior staff” was traditionally perceived within the company.
a) creating a Senior Research Analyst position, essentially my "number two" ,
b) delegating some decision making to research analysts (why would they be in my team if I can’t professionally trust them),
c) trusting junior staff to represent myself (and thus the company) at business events,
d) up-skilling junior staff through conferences and university courses, and e) treating them like my family – we have FUN monopoly nights at my house over chicken wings! I nearly cried when staff members nominated me for Young Leader of the Year at REB Women in Real Estate Awards 2019, and it was their testimonials that earned me a finalist title.
What's one piece of advice you'd give other women in business or in their careers?