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(4 min read) By Pinar Yucealp
The women of IBM are doing some amazing things to change the world, so let’s celebrate them! This March to celebrate women’s history month and #IWD2020, our incredible female IBMers are sharing their stories with you. Want to learn more about the incredible women at IBM and how you can join them and work at IBM? Head over to our Careers Page to learn more!
“Now that you will turn 18 next month, you should obtain your driving license.”
Learning to drive was the last thing on my mind. I was totally uninterested. I answered my father with, “I don’t care for driving.” Now my father was a man of passion, a man of purpose, a man of sound achievement. He strongly believed in continuous growth, unwavering determination and always supported, encouraged even, the empowering of women. “A woman should be her own driver,” he answered. “You will never need to depend on anybody to drive you anywhere.” This started my journey.
It was only much later that I realized exactly what his words had meant. I began to understand with clarity the weight of his message and how it resonated with me my entire adult life. I would go so far as to say it was his message that shaped me and molded me into my very being.
Gender bias in society reflects how we’re expected to act upon our gender. Girls and women are expected to be accommodating and nurturing. Men are expected to be strong and bold. My father inspired me to be a woman who is strong, self-sufficient, continuously growing, ever-learning, and always in pursuit of a better self. With this vision firmly etched in my sub-conscious, I grew up to discover my purpose from within. Personal development, interpersonal relationships, and leadership have always been my priorities. To drive my own life as a woman, I never stopped searching.
I started my career as an academician, later I moved on to consultancy and then to corporate life. To stay current and better myself, I always sought feedback, welcomed new experiences. I tried to act with courage and was willing to transcend my comfort zone. I found this to be the simple recipe on how to be the driver of one’s life. Continuous learning and unrelenting updating of oneself, over and over again.
IBM is a company that promotes a growth mindset and encourages gender diversity. This International Women’s Day, I am also proudly celebrating my third year at IBM. In such a diverse and inclusive culture with a growth mindset, I know that I am in the right place. I am in the place I had been raised for.
Looking back at my 3 years, I can sincerely say that I have friends from all over the world. Being included in global projects, presenting on various topics, participating in 300+ hours of learning, and co-creating outstanding outcomes with my team have all been instrumental to this development. I am still learning and still growing.
My team has a very special place in my heart and together we have achieved a lot. We completed an enormous number of projects, achieved new challenges, and expanded our roles. Together, we received the IBM HR Global Innovator Award. We grew to become one big family. My team works hard but also hangs out a lot, as we reminisce and create more fun memories together. We support each other and grow together. They learn, I learn, we learn. One big family.
I am passionate about a technology-driven, human-centered future and strongly believe in merging the capabilities of humans and technology. How could this ever be possible without transforming oneself and improving one’s skills for the future? It is essential to continually learn and grow, while technology is growing as well – irrespective of age, gender, tenure or seniority.
So I find my purpose in this Global and diverse company, in IBM, not only to grow as a Turkish woman but also to give back to my country and society. There is still so much to learn, so much to relish, and certainly so much to look forward to. Happy Third Anniversary to me!
About the Author: Pinar Yucealp is the Country Human Resources Leader for IBM Turkey and is celebrating her third anniversary with IBM this March.