Ordinary Women with Extraordinary Spirit End Up with Groundbreaking Careers

Jun 29, 2016 11:50 AM ET

On Wednesday, June 22, Professional Women’s Network Istanbul succeeded in another fantastic event and gathered more than 50 women for a panel on “women with groundbreaking jobs/women who have amazingly challenging jobs”.

Pelin Koçak, Sales Engineer in Atlas Copco’s Mining and Rock Excavation division, was one of the speakers at the panel. Pelin, while she was still a Master’s student at İstanbul Technical University Mining Engineering Department, started her career at Atlas Copco as a part time employee. Then she was employed as Mining Technique Capital Equipment Sales Support Responsible and for about 1½ years she has been working as Mining Technique Sales Engineer, responsible for sales of Mining Technique spare parts, rock drilling tools and capital equipment.

“During the panel, women employees from Atlas Copco were also there to support Pelin and when I wanted feedback regarding the event, each of them said how proud they felt while she was talking about the difficulties she faced and how she found her own methods to overcome each of them,” said Ronny Onkelinx, Vice President Holding “It is not that easy for a woman to travel most of the time, try to sell, and most important, try to survive in a men-oriented world. In this respect, Pelin does great. For me, it has once again proved that we have determined, ambitious, dedicated women employees  who – even at a very young age like Pelin – start to be a role model for the other women in business life. We, as employers are here just to unlock the full potential of them.”

“Although there has been a tremendous growth in women’s educational achievement over the past few years, it is still worrying that many women remain unemployed, or there are ones under employed, with their skills not being valued and rewarded. This is bad not just for women, but for society and the economy, because they lose out on the contributions that women could be making.” says Pelin, “When I meet people and they learn what my job is, each of them ask about how I got started in my job, how it feels to be on site, how I can survive among that many men around me…It’s almost as if they are waiting to hear a secret ingredient or alternative explanation. But I’m just an ordinary girl having an amazingly challenging  job, trying to establish and maintain a career for myself in a men oriented/dominated industry. It may look like I have an extraordinary life, but I just have the trust and belief in myself. When combined with an extraordinary spirit, these two help me to survive and achieve. My one and only advice for women is to take risks. Stand on your own feet and show the ones around you, even to the world, what you’re capable of! Of course, I hope every women will be lucky enough as me, as employer support is crucial while you are on your way to achievements.”