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Meet Our People 27-06-2022

5 min read

Ivelina Nankova

Ivelina Nankova – Operations Planner, High Voltage, Hitachi Energy Switzerland

What does a typical day at work for you look like?

I usually start the working day with some casual conversation with my colleagues over a cup of coffee. Although I do planning, my working day rarely goes as per my initial plan and calendar, because my job requires a certain flexibility to always prioritize first matters affecting the production process. There is still a certain routine in my day which usually involves regular lively discussions within the project teams over the schedule of the projects, their material supply status, engineering progress, etc. I often use the lunch break for some social contacts along the job and meet colleagues from different departments. The e-mails usually fly in the background during the day and I try to catch up on them in the late afternoon hours.

How would you describe your team and the culture of our organization?

My team is very united and friendly in each aspect, from bringing Gipfeli for breakfast to supporting each other when some team member needs a hand. There are many great people and professionals among my colleagues with a lot of experience, motivation and positive attitude, which makes the common work an absolute pleasure and even fun sometimes.

I truly appreciate the freedom we are given in our organization to express openly our opinion and to continuously challenge and adjust the processes the way we believe they fit best to our targets and the current business situation. This somehow gives me the feeling that I am a part of the decisions taken and hence the achievements of the unit.

What inspires you most about the work you do at Hitachi Energy?

My biggest inspiration is to see the result of our work in the form of a finished product. To see the physical realization of great, sometime more than yearlong team effords and not just some abstract achievement, brings me a lot of satisfaction. Very often I ask our project managers to send me on site pictures and I feel proud at this moment.

What led you to choose a career in the energy industry?

Honestly, I was a bit skeptical in the beginning, because I do not have an engineering background and thought this makes me not the best fit for the energy industry world, but with the time I got to know our product, built affection for it and realize that even without the purely technical knowledge, I can still provide a valuable contribution to the business in my case by planning the operations.

Why do you think there is less female representation in this industry? And what can we do to contribute and increase gender diversity in our organization?

I would assume this is to a great extend a consequence of some traditional gender beliefs my generation has acquired in our childhood when there was not so much awareness on that topic. Those have been somehow embedded into our mindset and have affected our career choices as young adults and this is something that cannot be easily changed overnight. However, I strongly believe gender diversity is just a matter of time for organizations like ours where there are so many initiatives and focus to encourage it supported by great examples of successful women in the organization.

Why do you think diversity in the workplace is important, especially in the field of energy?

Because I truly believe that “we are stronger together”. Similar minds can never fully cover the complete spectrum of abilities and skills and bringing together people with diverse points of view and talents undoubtedly enriches the organization workforce in a qualitative way.

What advice would you give to young women who are starting out their careers and entering a similar profession? 

Not to let stereotypes limit their perspective. If they are interested in the industry, they should definitely go for it, and I am sure they will feel welcomed and appreciated. I can share from my own already 10 years’ experience in the organization, that I have always felt not just tolerated, but fully respected. People here do get valued for what they do and the way they do it and the demographic characteristics are not a barrier.

What other aspirations or goals would you like to achieve outside of work?

Currently I am focused on my personal wellbeing. I am very enthusiastic and I do care a lot about the people and things in my life, which I actually perceive as a great strength of mine, but can be also sometimes overwhelming for me and for the people around me. Therefore, I am working on myself to get a little bit more balanced and to process daily stress in a healthier and more constructive way. In the context of this discussion, I can say that I have learned a lot in the field of emotional intelligence from the local culture, so diversity does work positive both ways.

If you could take one month to travel anywhere, where would you go?

Japan, South Afrika, some tropical island…everywhere where I find peaceful atmosphere, tasty food, friendly people and beautiful nature.