Sezen Yildirim Unnu  


“STEM is the future. It doesn’t only provide you some good career opportunities, STEM also enables you to see the world in a broader perspective.”

Name: Sezen Bildirim Unnu
Date of birth: 1984
Title: Senior Security Compliance Specialist
Company: Ørsted A/S
Degree: Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering, Istanbul Technical University
Fun fact: I am a huge Hermione Granger fan

What do you find most interesting about your career and your leadership position?

The world is evolving more and more into the digital. In the old days, it was easier to protect assets but today there are a lot of ways to lose the data. Therefore, we always need to be aware of growing technology. This is also keeping you on the edge of continuous research. I really enjoy that I must keep reading and developing my skills. I also find it very satisfactory for working in an energy company that is driving a green agenda. When I was in university and studying electrical engineering, I was always pro renewables. That is why I really enjoy contributing for a more sustainable future.

What has been crucial to get you to where you are today?

I have some ups and downs in my career, but I believe being open minded, curious, and hardworking saved me a lot of times. I learnt to change my perspective and see the opportunities in other areas. As everything around us is changing, we also need to evolve and adapt.
The second thing is who you work with. I have been supported by great managers and colleagues. While this is sometimes a bit of luck, I believe a nourishing environment also lifts me up and encourage me to go one step forward.

Tell us about a female role model and the impact they had on you – either personally or professionally?

I believe this is a difficult question to answer. I don’t have only one role model, but I have more. When I was younger, I thought Marie Curie was amazing. Then I read Virginia Woolf. While her literature is not always my taste, I think the idea of a room of one’s own has been one of the strongest ideas for me. I have strong women in my family, who have been leading or supporting me all my life.
I believe the common points for these role models are that they are brave, they dare to speak up and they are dedicated. Yet they are resilient and caring. I believe the world needs more compassion and caring people.

What advise would you give to young female students today?

Let me give them a general advise, which cannot be limited to only females. I would tell them that they shouldn’t doubt themselves in any situation. I know the younger generation is feeling the pressure of not being sufficient more than we felt when we were their age. However, this shouldn’t be the case. Even if they are feeling unsure in any situation, it is still normal, acceptable and they can just continue.
Being young is difficult in some aspects, on the other hand, it is also very magical. They should have fun, explore the world, interact with people, learn new languages, and travel a lot.
Academical skills or business skills will always develop. You never stop learning. However, life changes in different directions so I would advise them to use the opportunity of being young and cherish the days.

Looking into the future, what role do you think STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) education will have?

STEM is the future. It doesn’t only provide you some good career opportunities, STEM also enables you to see the world in a broader perspective, which helps you to think more strategically, see, or understand the next big thing and adapt very quickly.
Apart from that, it is super cool that you understand how physics works and have some casual conversations around planets, light speed, robotics and such