Spotlight on Lading Women in Telecoms | TelecomDrive.com
Elif Yirmibes carries about two decades of technology-rich experience and started working with Vodafone in 2004 as a Radio Access Technology Engineer. With the help of her unique drive for innovation and a passion towards thinking differently, she has managed to create her very own special place and as a result, today she is leading the Open RAN Product Performance division at Vodafone Group.
As part of Disruptive Telecoms July 2022 cover story on ‘Leading Women in Telecoms’ Elif Yirmibes, Innovation Hub & Product Performance Snr. Manager, Vodafone speaks with Zia Askari from TelecomDrive.com about her professional and personal journey.
How has been your professional journey so far? Please tell us about your various job profiles?
After graduating from Electronics and Telecommunications at the University, I started my career as a software engineer and joined Vodafone in 2004 as a Radio Access Technology Engineer. I have held various technology leadership roles including Radio Planning and Optimization, Radio Strategy Investment, Network Quality, Terminal/Sim Technology. Recently, I am leading the Open RAN Product Performance division at Vodafone Group.
What is the meaning of success to you, how important it is for you? And what is your mantra to succeed in an organization?
I think success is a feeling of inner satisfaction when you achieve your goals. When I know that my efforts are purpose driven, it encourages me to push harder. The mantra for me is always being authentic, thinking differently, and working hard.
According to you, what are some of the most critical factors that have helped you become a leader in your organization?
Inclusion and diversity in gender and thought have been key factors in helping me empower, develop my skills and grow in my organization.
When you look back in your career – what according to you can be termed as big turning points for you? How have these turning points helped you gain ground professionally?
That was when I started my first leadership role. I had the opportunity to observe people. You have to pay attention to the details of people’s lives. I learned how to create trust-based communication. When you gain people’s trust in all means, you realize that people believe in following the same path as you and are passionately committed to it. My biggest and bravest achievements are those that come true in the spirit of togetherness.
What are some of the challenges that you faced and overcome during your professional journey? How did you overcome these challenges?
There are times when you have to make decisions where you may not get support. You have to be brave enough to take the decision and take the accountability. You need to depend on the data and your in-depth understanding of your profession to move ahead.
Please share with us some of your positive learnings that you have gained over the past many years and how these learnings have helped, you become a better person / professional?
You can fall while living your journey. If you do not stop learning, you will fall forward. This fall could be related to something in your relationships or profession, be positive and always look for opportunities or create your own. You will become a resilient person in your organization and in personal relationships.
With greater level of experience comes greater level of responsibility and often this also involves grooming others, passing on your legacy ahead. Keeping this in mind, how do you look at helping others in your organization towards achieving success?
I always believe in human capabilities for continuous improvement. If you grow together, you will grow fast and much better. It is an opportunity to create an environment where you can capitalize on productive ideas and, together, make it a success.
What are some of your big goals that you have achieved in the recent past – and your goals that you want to achieve?
I always have a passion for doing something good that matters, and aspire to make a difference. We have introduced technologies that improve people’s quality of live and contribute to technology evolution. I am sticking with my unique goal and will work on to do it better.
Elif Yirmibes | Passionate, Determined and Self Confident
How would you describe yourself as a person?
I would say that I am an analytical, self-confident person with a social personality.
What are the three top most important things for you in your personal life?
Family, friendship, health, faith and we are living for a reason and purpose is very important.
Please share with us some of your personal milestones and their contributions towards developing your personality?
Some memories are unpleasant, like being in a serious car accident with your family and you having another car accident, a college house burning down, your only loved brother having serious operations in young age, dealing with the death of a pet. All this has made me a resilient person, positive mindset and more connected to life and people.
How do you see yourself evolve as a person over the past years and where do you see yourself in the coming years?
As long as you are focused on learning and have an open mind, you are becoming a more humble person over time. In the coming years I want to grow into someone who is much better at forgiving and letting go of resentments.
What are your three qualities that have helped you grow as a person and a professional?
Being Passionate, Determined and Self Confident and Being lively.
Please share with us some of your hobbies and interests?
I like playing volleyball, cycling and hiking in nature. I just started learning to play the piano. Recently, my interest has been to learn gardening and agriculture.
Please tell us something about your family? How has been their support in terms of helping you grow professionally?
I have a family of love, friendship, and support. My mother was a teacher and my father and brother have business degrees. I am the only one with engineering degree. I am married to an engineer. I am always encouraged to make my own decisions and to be brave. I always trust that whatever happens they are always behind me and they will help me in finding the way.