As a Digitalization Portfolio Sales Manager, I am providing the Turkish Employers’ Association of Metal Industries (MESS) with innovative customized solutions, driving the way for female engineers to foster the digital transformation with Siemens.
A female role model
A lot of changes are currently taking place in the world – in many ways. When I started my career as an automation project engineer, I was the only female engineer on site. I was working on industrial plants during commissioning phases – an environment where women just didn’t choose to work. I remember a conversation with a customer very clearly which really made me stop and think. He explained he had a young daughter who was at high school and wanted to go to university. He told his daughter about me being a female engineer working on site and encouraged her ambitions of higher education. This conversation wasn’t a one off. Another customer approached me about his sister. She wanted to study engineering but was fearful about women becoming engineers. Because it wasn’t ‘normal’. I told him that I loved my job, and he should support his sister with her decision.
And here is where the change comes; Now I am working together in a team of around 5 to 7 engineers while preparing tenders for digitalization projects and most of them are female. In our current digitalization project, we have 3 female Project Managers and 2 female Software Developers. In Siemens Turkey the ratio of women engineers now is 23%. In the Advanta team the ratio is even higher which indicates higher numbers in the software business. But it’s not only in this context I see a lot of change. I believe that we are at the edge of a big shift in terms of digitalization and I am excited to be one of the lucky Siemens team who can contribute from the very beginning. To have this opportunity, working in such a diverse team, enjoying the work I do and having amazing support from my managers- this is what motivates me to go to work every single day.
Istanbul – Where Two Continents Meet
I work in Istanbul, Turkey. Istanbul is a beautiful and historical city with various places to enjoy. I live and work on the Asian side. At the weekends I prefer to go to the European side, I take a ferry to cross the Bosphorus and enjoy the sea view. On the European Side, my favorite place is the Old City area which is also a famous tourist attraction. There are many historical places to visit like Blue Mosque and Basilica Cistern. I also go to the Grand Bazaar to buy traditional Turkish sweets and coffee. My high school is in that area too, which is one of the historical buildings of Ottoman Empire and was formerly deployed as a bank for foreign debts. I usually finish my visits at a good restaurant next to Bosphorus and enjoy delicious food. In Istanbul, there also many art museums with new exhibitions all the time. Last July, I noticed a Siemens logo in an old photo from the 50’s taken by Ara Güler a globally famous photographer.
It’s in these moments, I realize that Siemens does not only have a long history, but also it is known across all national borders for several decades for creating impact on society.
Making a Difference – On a Global Perspective
Siemens is a huge company with high-tech solutions and amazing people. As a sales manager I always try to leverage these elements and learn from everyone. I always try to have a holistic view with all we can provide when approaching a customer, in order to be able to offer the right solution. I am proud to be sales manager and a member in the project management team at MESS Technology Center – Digitalization Project. Our customer is MESS- the Turkish Employers’ Association of Metal Industries with over 200 members and 180.000 employees, representing a wide range of metal and related industries which also covers Siemens’s most important and strategic customers. MESS is building an innovation & training center for its members on Industry 4.0 and digitalization best practices. MESS Technology Center also joined World Economic Forum’s “Centre for the 4th Industrial Revolution Network”. We are excited and proud to be one of the biggest business partners of this center with our end-to-end Digital Enterprise portfolio and innovative customized solutions. MESS Technology Center Project will contribute Siemens’ Digital Enterprise as an important global reference. What most excites me about my work is a project where we did and still do our “firsts” in digitalization. The customer’s vision and expectations are very high, and it is an ongoing and exciting challenge to overcome.
International Teamwork for Perfect Solutions
In the beginning, we worked together with our local Advanta team and Digital Industries Software partners to prepare the tender. We were awarded the project by the customer with the guidance and support of our own management teams. It quickly became apparent that we needed to lean on the global expertise across Siemens to meet the project’s requirements regarding MES/MOM and PLM solutions. After the kick-off we extended our team with experts from global teams and we now work with more than 20 members from 5 different countries with various competencies. Working in such a diverse team is our advantage!
With our collaborative teamwork, we managed to adjust ourselves dynamically to new technical requirements during the project phase. Despite language and location barriers at times, the team were able to act quickly to meet the needs of the project and customer. A team I am proud to be part of.
New Era – New Challenges
But the operational challenges are not the only ones to overcome. Like everyone globally, the Covid-19 crisis affects the way we are working right now. Work- home life balance had to be restructured to meet the expectations in both areas. I learnt that you can be more flexible at home but also you must be more disciplined with time management. I miss my colleagues and our coffee breaks. I am sure that we will find our own ways of adjusting to the new normal with work and our social lives. We are fortunate enough in Siemens to have technology to support us working in a more remote and flexible way that means our teams can still operate effectively. This change does not only account for our professional lives. In my free time for example, I am training to be a yoga teacher.
I have completed the classes, passed my formal exams and I’m looking forward to finishing my internship lessons to get my certificate from an authorized yoga center in Istanbul. I have been practicing yoga for 6 years and it has helped me a lot with my physical health using philosophical teachings to overcome such difficult times. In the future, I would like to teach for charities to support people who are economically challenged. Yoga helps me have balance which is so important for me in the context of work. Our new working setup in the new normal makes it easier for me to find time for activities such as yoga, which benefit my performance at work.
I am proud to work at Siemens; being at the forefront of digital transformation, being surrounded by amazing diverse people, and being able to balance my home and work life in a way that benefits both. Do you want to be one of our Digital Minds? You can view our Digital vacancies @Siemens here: www.siemens.com/careers/digitalminds or register your interest in future roles.