In mid-December, three Ingersoll Rand female leaders with our Industrial Technologies and Services (ITS) EMEIA operations team formed a panel to discuss female leadership in manufacturing with 160 students of mechanical and industrial engineering at Yeditepe University in Turkey.
The virtual session was the last of three conferences organized by Yeditepe University, one of the top ranked schools in Turkey, and ITS EMEIA Operations Leader Ulas Yolcu. “The conference aimed to spark conversation with young students around how diverse perspectives not only drive company’s performance, but also enable sustainable success and serving our societies better,” explained Ulas.
The topic was well received by all attendees. The Ingersoll Rand panelists—Simmern, Germany Plant Manager Johanna Aaltonen; Brussels, Belgium, Finance Operations Leader Petra Klusakova; and Dublin, Ireland, Aftermarket Operations Leader Ann-Marie Fleet—immediately sensed attendees’ interest when they began the panel discussion. They shared their personal experiences on building successful careers and overcoming barriers, and answered questions to help the students prepare for entering the workforce.
The discussion covered key skills for a leader in operations, including problem-solving approaches, coaching and listening skills, the importance of continuous learning, how to stand out and succeed, how to apply theoretical skills from university when joining a new company, how to deal with challenges, and more.
Many of the female engineering students will be entering a male-dominated workplace; learning from our successful female leaders could help them build confidence while raising awareness on opportunities in manufacturing and supply chain. Johanna stressed the importance of “clearing some myths around being female and encourage young students to pursue a career in manufacturing environment.”
“If our contributions helped any of the students, but particularly the female students, to prepare themselves or think a little differently about their career options, then for me it was a success,” added Ann-Marie.
“The rich and diverse sessions were eye-opening for our students and an exciting teaser from the corporate working environment,” said Fehti Okyar, Mechanical Engineering department professor commenting on the students’ high participation and active engagement during the Ingersoll Rand conferences.
The session was not only valuable for the students, but also for IR leaders: engaging with our communities, giving back while thinking what advice you would give to a younger self inspires and helps us grow too. “It was a very rewarding experience and I hope the students will be motivated to shape their careers no matter which career path they decide to take,” said Petra.
Ingersoll Rand is committed to diversity, inclusion and fostering inspired teams. Thanks to our ITS EMEIA Operations team for illustrating this vital element of our company culture with young students.