Being a Woman on a Male Sovereign Railway

being a woman on a male-dominated railway
being a woman on a male-dominated railway

My acquaintance with the Railway Sector happened in 2006 with the DTD (Railway Transport Association). Before this date, I was a person working in a different industry, loving trains from afar, having traveled by train only once in high school. I had never thought of the railroad where my path was crossing my Hasbelkader. But as I started to learn and understand the railroad, I wholeheartedly believed that this issue was very necessary and very useful for our country and our people. And I regretfully realized that the railway in our country is not sufficiently recognized and unknown. Our industrialists, our logistics, our universities are distant from the railway, but in recent years, new awareness has started to increase. Unfortunately, the main problem of our country is that the cargo cannot reach the railway. Of course, there are many different reasons.

I have been a part of this formation since the first days of the Railway Transport Association and I have been the Assistant General Manager for the last ten years. DTD is an organization established to improve rail transport in line with the requirements of our age and country and to increase the share of rail in the country's total transport. DTD members with their own wagons or wagons with TCDD engaged in national and international rail freight network, wagons with production facilities, port operation for wagon maintenance and repair industry are engaged in Turkey's most important companies. After the emergence of Turkey No. 6461 Law on the Liberalization of Railway Transport TCDD Transport Inc. has also taken its place among DTD members.

Of course, where the most important companies of Turkey's first and only non-governmental organizations to take part in my career and professional know-how in the field of railway transport was a very important contribution to. We talked about the sector problems around the same table with the valuable and experienced experts of the sector. Taking part in many meetings, working groups, fairs and projects together with the owners, managers and experts of companies in different fields that are members of our association, as well as close with the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure, other relevant ministries, TCDD and other public institutions and NGOs in the logistics sector. Being in the study gave me the opportunity to evaluate and comprehend topics from different perspectives.

DTD representing the Ministry of Transport and Infrastructure Ministry, TCDD, TOBB, TIM etc. all regulations issued by institutions, vocational and technical workshops, seminars and trainings, Turkey did allow the participation in the Logistics Master Plan.


In addition to participating in the vocational trainings provided by the DTD as an educator, I have been involved in preparations and curriculum studies for opening the Beykoz University Rail Systems Management department within the scope of our collaborations with universities. I am currently a member of Beykoz University Sector Advisory Board and I have been contributing to the training of my future colleagues as a lecturer for five years. In these five years, I am sorry to say that I only had six female students.

By participating in the activities and courses of Logistics Departments of various universities, I try to explain the railroad as I turn my tongue on every platform I am on.

As you know, the logistics sector is a sector where men are the majority, especially when it comes to railway, the number of women in the sector is very low. As a woman, I am mostly on my own at railway meetings I attend. While this situation makes me sad, on the other hand, it makes me proud to have been a woman in such a community for 14 years.

When we look at the staff statistics of TCDD by gender today, we see that the female staff is 5%. This rate may be a little more in the private sector, I do not know if there is an official statistics on this issue.

Recently, I had the opportunity to convey my opinions and suggestions to our valuable academicians within the scope of the World Bank's Gender Discrimination in Railway Transport Survey.

Women can have very different perspectives and comments on events and issues than men. Capturing some of the details that have been overlooked contributes significantly to the whole business. For this reason, I believe that the touch of a woman's hand on the railway will improve and beautify the sector.

On this occasion, I sincerely celebrate the Women's Day of all our women and I believe that we will carry our sector to very beautiful days together.

Nükhet Işıkoğlu - DTD Deputy General Manager

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