German wind turbine manufacturer Nordex’s Turkey branch, Nordex Enerji AS, in partnership with Turkish Women in Renewable and Energy Network (TWRE), aims to enhance Turkish young women’s participation in the wind energy sector through a new training program.
The training is a first for Turkey in empowering young women in this sector. The three-day training, which was held in Turkey's Aegean city of Izmir between Oct. 23 and 25, brought together young female Turkish professionals, engineering students and new graduates from various schools and cities.
The participants received first-hand information on Nordex’s history and turbine portfolio, wind development, turbine description and network. A wind park tour was also organized to Nordex’s Pitane Windpark in Aliaga on the third day.
Nordex Enerji AS’s Training Coordinator Oya Torum told Anadolu Agency as Nordex attaches great importance to female employment in their company, they want to increase women's participation particularly in field operations and technical positions.
"My idea of the wind sector changed drastically the moment I came across a wind turbine. I am now well aware of the fact that the wind energy sector is a heavy and dangerous one. However, many women work in blue-collar jobs in Scandinavian countries. Why not in Turkey?" Torum said.
Torum recalled that the percentage of females employed in white-collar jobs in Nordex Enerji AS is around 27%, while blue-collar employment is almost zero.
"We receive almost no job applications for blue-collar jobs, and therefore we could not avail of the opportunity to have women employees in these fields. However, we definitely want to increase this number and that is why we have organized this training," she explained.
With a market share of 26.7% and an installed wind capacity of 2,038 megawatts (MW), the Nordex Group is the market leader in Turkey. Along with 110 MW capacity at the Soke Wind Farm in Aydin near the Aegean coast, the Nordex Group plans to further install turbines with a total capacity of 266 MW up to the end of 2020.
Nordex Enerji AS started its operations in Turkey in April 2009. Along with its headquarters in Istanbul, the company has a services office and a technical training center in Izmir. The company currently has 249 Turkish employees.
Torum further detailed female employment statistics in the company. In the Human Resources and Culture and Administration Department, 67% are female. The Finance Department has 60% representation, the Sales Department has 25%, the Services Department has 22%, Sales Support and Project Engineering contains 20%, and 17% are in the Project Management Department.
She also drew attention to the lack of sufficient numbers of women employed in the renewables sector that has recently come to the surface and in which the management is now focusing on.
Torum asserted the partnerships between academic institutions and the private sector has a vital role to play in combining theoretical knowledge with practical experience. To this end, she said the Nordex Technical Training Center, with its substantial technical knowledge and know-how, could share this knowledge and experience with young women who are trying to navigate their way in the renewables sector.
"This training for young women only is a first in Turkey and we would like to continue with this. Young women are very interested in the wind energy sector and would prefer to be employed in this area. After this training, we hope they continue to develop their skills in this sector and serve their country, the sector and us," she concluded.
The Nordex Group has installed more than 25 gigawatts of wind energy capacity in over 40 markets, and in 2018, generated revenues of around €2.5 billion. The company has more than 6,000 employees worldwide.
By Ebru Sengul