International Women’s Day was a few weeks ago. Nevertheless, we would like to take this opportunity to introduce one of our employees and see what she and the industry are up to.A lot has changed for the better over the years. But what about women working in traditionally male-dominated fields like the process industry? Has their situation really changed as radically as we imagine? And how have the changes impacted on Yokogawa?
I’m very grateful for this opportunity to interview our colleague, Fatma Evren.
Interview with Fatma Evren, IMK Manager IA Services
Good morning Fatma, thank you for agreeing to talk to me today.
Fatma Evren: It’s a pleasure.
Could you start by telling me a little about what you do? What are the key aspects of your work at Yokogawa?
Fatma Evren: I’m responsible for services within the Marketing department. My main focus is on plant security. By the way, for the first time we have organized a great event: the Plant Security Convention, which will take place on 14 May in Basel. The event is primarily aimed at companies that want to gain decisive competitive advantages in the global market using innovative digital key technologies. And for this they need a solid foundation of safety and security. Information and registration are available on the Internet at https://www.yokogawa-plant-security.ch/
I’ve heard about “plant security” many times before. What exactly does plant security involve?
In today’s digital age, where everything is flexible and extensively networked together, functional safety also includes security. In other words, safety and security have to be treated as equivalent. That means protecting all components and processes that are necessary to operate an automated production plant reliably and safely, for instance control and safety instrumented systems, human interface stations, network components like firewalls or switches, etc.. Processes linked to planning, implementation, training, operation and maintenance are equally vital. Plant security is the door-opener for innovative technologies and a springboard for fruitful, strategic positioning in a company’s relevant ecosystems.
It isn’t only the technical aspects that are essential for proper security in industrial operations, though. Highly qualified employees with an Industry 4.0 mindset are a must too.
Millennials in a traditional company
Security and technical issues in general are traditionally male-dominated. How do you feel about your job?
Fatma Evren: I get the feeling that women are becoming increasingly involved in security and other IT topics, and that they can draw on extensive expertise as a result of their qualifications and experience. Many women also show a high degree of empathy as well as other soft skills that can be extremely useful. When coupled with a keen interest in technology, that’s an unbeatable combination. When it comes to digitalization, the proportion of younger women seems to be higher. Millennials who grew up with today’s technological innovations are more willing to embrace new technologies, for example they use YouTube every day for streaming. YouTube identifies customer needs and analyzes usage patterns. Cooperation with the various streaming platforms such as Netflix and Amazon Prime is one possible outcome. The current generation are more open to new technical developments. High tech is part and parcel of their everyday lives, and they see it as a useful enrichment.
You mentioned the current generation of young people. Do you also seek to engage with experienced experts? If so, what are the specific features of that dialog?
Fatma Evren: Yes, of course I do. I find the dialog with experienced experts here at Yokogawa totally enriching. And all of that experience and technical expertise is also passed on to younger colleagues, which is not something you can take for granted. There are many companies where a silo mentality still prevails. People are reluctant to disclose what they know to others. That’s why I really appreciate this kind of intensive cooperation. Experienced experts who’ve been with the firm for ten years or more often adopt a completely different perspective and provide valuable input. As a representative of the younger generation, I want to be a pioneer who is quick to implement changes and trends. However, those experienced experts draw my attention to empirical values or processes that I may have overlooked. They share their treasure trove of experience with me. At the same time, I share the newest digitalization trends with them, so that we all enjoy the same level of knowledge. That’s a great illustration of how knowledge transfer can have important benefits for companies.
Women on the rise
It sounds as if you work in a very productive and respectful climate. Women’s quotas are an issue that is regularly raised on International Women’s Day. Do you believe Yokogawa is on the right track here?
Fatma Evren: Yes, definitely! It’s nice to see how women are encouraged, and diversity even more so. They’re more than simply meaningless buzzwords. Our management clearly sets great store by a very heterogeneous pool of employees.
You referred to our management. How would you describe your personal experience of our management team?
Fatma Evren: My personal experience of our management team is that they’re altogether approachable and uncomplicated. No-one need be afraid of knocking on doors and asking questions. They always have a sympathetic ear for you. I feel as if I’m taken seriously and that they’re behind me all the way, both as an employee and a person.
What is it that makes Yokogawa special as an employer? How would you define the Yokogawa culture?
Fatma Evren: Yokogawa is a multicultural organization – and that applies to customers and employees alike. Here in Ratingen there are people from Germany, Turkey, India, Japan, Spain and the Philippines, among others – you can’t get much more diverse than that! It’s this cultural diversity that lays the foundation for mutual respect and openness to other cultures. Nobody discriminates you because of where you come from or because of your religion, your age or your sexual orientation. As far as I’m concerned, our boss Tim Henrichs (Marketing Manager Europe Chemical Industry) is an absolute role model as regards openness to people with different backgrounds. That’s also reflected in the make-up of our Marketing team.
More than just a job
Last but not least, could you sum up your job in three words
Fatma Evren: 1. Enlightening – I learn something new every day, 2. Communicative – I engaged in a dialog with a lot of very different people daily, 3. Satisfying – I do good by showing firms how to integrate security.
Have we succeeded in arousing your curiosity? If so, feel free to take a look at our vacancies!