Good organization is the key to the success of women in large systems

Photo: OIE Serbia

The energy portal, as a media that wants to contribute to gender equality and inclusiveness of women in the green energy sector, decided to support the campaign for the promotion of successful women implemented by the Association of Renewable Energy Sources of Serbia with the support of the Embassy of Canada in Serbia. In the coming period, we will publish interviews that the Association of RES SERBIA realizes as part of the project “Path to greater participation of women in the RES sector” with the aim of encouraging young girls and women to get an education and seek a career opportunity in the RES sector.

Gordana Jugović is an independent dispatcher engineer at the “Đerdap 2” hydroelectric plant and has been successfully building a career for 33 years in one of the most significant hydroelectric plants in the “Elektroprivreda Srbije” system. There are more and more women in energy, but not much is known about them. Gordana’s job at the Negotin hydroelectric power plant is very responsible and often decisive at key moments for our power sector.

As a girl, how did you decide to study technical college?

Gordana Jugović: I finished high school in Negotin, as the first generation of focused education. After two years of common basics, I chose the mathematics major, the profession of mathematician and statistician. I have always had wide and varied interests. Starting with music, without which I couldn’t imagine my life path, applied arts, chess… Somehow I managed to achieve all that, without difficulty. Natural sciences, more specifically, mathematics and physics, were something that I liked the most, and before entering the university, I decided on electrical engineering – energy. That was challenging enough and solidly difficult for me. I always gave myself difficult, serious tasks, testing myself. I have never given up on anything and persistence is one of my traits. Today I can say that I didn’t make a mistake in choosing my profession and if I had to choose again, I wouldn’t change almost anything.

Has working in EPS always been your business desire or did you get a job in JP EPS due to a combination of circumstances and in the hydro sector?

Gordana Jugović: I entered the faculty in 1981. Our largest hydroelectric power plant “Đerdap 1” had already been built, and the second Danube power plant was under construction. I applied for and received a scholarship from HE “Đerdap”. After graduating, I got an invitation and started working at HPP “Đerdap 2”. That was also my wish during my studies, to work in the hydro sector, in a power plant. Due to life and family circumstances, I stayed in Negotin, the city where I grew up.

What does your job look like, that is, the HPP where you work? What exactly is your job?

Photo: OIE Serbia (It is not difficult to work in a large system when the work is well organized)

Gordana Jugović: My first job was in the Technical Service of HE “Đerdap 2”. From the beginning, even as an intern, I was in charge of maintaining the auxiliary equipment of the power plant and external facilities. Dynamic and interesting, especially in the first years. The opportunity to change something came around the end of 2000 and I moved to Power Plant Operation, where I am still today.

My job title is Independent Engineer Dispatcher. I organize and coordinate work in the Service for the exploitation of the power plant and ship lock of the HPP “Đerdap 2” branch, I plan the optimal operation of the power plant from the point of view of the use of hydropower potential, harmonizing the operation of the power plant with valid regulations and instructions. I cooperate with the Romanian partner, the dispatching department of HPP “Đerdap 1” and the dispatching service of EPS when determining the daily production programs. When large waters appear, I monitor, analyze and determine hydropower parameters related to the operation of the power plant and evacuation organs – overflow fields. As a member of the joint dispatching service for energy of HPP Đerdap and FE Portile de Fier, I prepare the necessary documentation and data for the work of the Joint Commission for Đerdap related to the sharing of potential with the Romanian side.

Hydropower plant “Đerdap 2” is located at kilometer 863, 80 km downstream from “Đerdap 1”. In fact, there are three power plants on the Djerdap 2 profile: the Romanian one with 8 generators, the Serbian main power plant with 8 machines and the Serbian auxiliary power plant with two generators. Between the main and additional power plants are located 7 Serbian overflow fields and a Serbian ship lock. The main building is 1,017 meters long and 78.4 meters wide. The administration building of the power plant is on the coast, and the command tower, where my office and part of my service is, is somewhere halfway down the Danube, above the plant itself. Through the window of the office on the eighth floor there is a view of the Danube, of the left Romanian and right Serbian coasts, of the most beautiful sunrises on clear mornings… At low water, when the Danube inflows are less than 2,300 m³/s, you can see the sunken German fleet from the Second World War. world war.

Cooperation with the dispatching department of HPP “Đerdap 1” and the dispatching service of EPS in translation means that I am available 24 hours a day and after the end of work I am still passively on call. Often, the daily plan that is agreed upon during working hours, in the afternoon or evening hours, has to be corrected for various reasons. In that case, reprogramming is done immediately in order to maintain the optimal conditions of electricity production the next day as well. My job, in addition to being on call from home, also requires short occasional overtime on weekends and holidays.

How difficult is it to be a woman in such a big system?

Gordana Jugović: When the work is well organized, it is not difficult to work in a large system. When you have well-made instructions and procedures, when you know how the entire system works, what are the procedures in regular and which in extraordinary circumstances, when you have a professional, well-trained team where almost anyone can replace everyone, when communication is good, there are no problems. Therefore, being a woman in such a large system, which is again in close connection with the Romanian system, is not difficult at all.

Did you always feel equal in the collective and the environment? Are there moments when the belief prevails that these jobs are predestined for men?

Photo: OIE Serbia (Today it is completely clear that the energy sector is the future)

Gordana Jugović: Gender equality is now an everyday topic. I started working in the last century, in 1989, and at that time HPP “Đerdap 2” was not yet completely finished. An unwritten rule was that young engineers, upon employment, after an internship and training, go to the shift, to work as a shift engineer. It was a very serious and not easy job at that time. Work in shifts, in the second and third shifts, because the engineer on duty is obliged to take care of the entire power plant, to eliminate a malfunction that occurs suddenly, call the team to intervene, react in the moment in the right way, because errors can be unpredictable. As a young engineer, I couldn’t do a shift, and the only reason was that I was a girl. It bothered me a lot then. It was the first time I felt that kind of “discrimination”. Never before that, during my education, at university, in my family, at home, I had no different treatment and tasks than any person of the other sex. As a young and inexperienced person, I was surprised by the occasional unequal distribution when it came to business tasks. But that didn’t discourage me. I tried to always give my best in everything.

There are moments and jobs, especially in the hydroelectric power plant, that generally a female person can hardly do. These are mostly jobs that require physical fitness and strength. When it comes to professional jobs, technical jobs, organization jobs, management jobs…there really is no difference – there are no jobs that are predestined according to gender. Commitment and the quality of the completed task are important. That’s my position. Some kind of injustice and discrimination in the business sense is more pronounced in smaller communities and in smaller collectives. I have and had the opportunity to work with great colleagues, intelligent, capable, top experts, whose work was never adequately rewarded, nor, unfortunately, was their capacity used in the right way. I sometimes jokingly say that we are unequal, but that the male world should fight for equality.

How do you manage to balance your work and privateand obaone woman relationship?

Photo: OIE Serbia (My working day starts before six and ends around midnight)

Gordana Jugović: It is important to be strong in the professional, personal and interpersonal spheres. Good personal organization, optimism, self-confidence and self-discipline, adaptability, persistence, tolerance… are just some of the qualities that are necessary in order to harmonize and fulfill all obligations and expectations. At work and in private life. My working day starts before six and ends around midnight. I try to make everything I do error-free, fast, accurate, precise, high-quality, to incorporate a part of myself into everything I do. My biggest success is not my profession, it is my two daughters. The older one, a pharmacist, has already become the mother of a beautiful two-year-old girl, and at the beginning of next year we are expecting another family member. The younger one is a psychology student. After the death of my husband, nine years ago, I also inherited his private business. I managed to balance work, family obligations and the activity of a private entrepreneur with great effort, a lot of self-control and personal renunciation. Difficult, but successful.

How would you motivate girls to get an education to work in the energy sector, especially RES?

Gordana Jugović: My two daughters did not follow my path in choosing a profession. I regret that I failed to motivate them to focus their higher education on technical sciences, but they certainly had and still have my support in choosing their profession. Energetics was promising even at the time when I chose it. Today, it is completely clear that the energy sector is the future. Not only locally, but globally. In particular, it will go in the direction of improvement, development and investment in RES, especially when there are known attitudes and goals at the world level related to achieving carbon neutrality. I have the impression that young people today are insufficiently informed. Both young men and women. It sounds strange, considering that almost all information is at their fingertips. To begin with, it is necessary to inform high school students through lectures, workshops, advertisements and bring the profession down to the level of high school students. Get on their feet. Faculties, people from the field of energy and the RES sector should make contact with high schools and high school graduates and present what is being done in the energy sector, especially in the RES sector. The number of potential female students of technical faculties would certainly increase. It should be explained to female graduates how great the potential is for the development of a stable career in energy, how large investments can be expected in this sector, especially now when there is not enough energy. It should be explained to young girls that energy is a huge field, that the possibility of employment is great, participation in numerous, large, demanding and interesting projects in that case is certain, and cooperation with colleagues from all over the world is extremely good, and therefore the possibility of advancement in a professional sense. it comes fast.

Source: OIE Serbia

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