Anja Potokar: I Learnt from Great Mentors

Becoming an Environmental Engineer is a journey in itself, says Anja Potokar, a water professional who collaborates with GWP Central and Eastern Europe. In celebration of International Women’s Day (IWD2020), she shares her career story – on how great mentors helped her to establish herself as a young engineer.

My path began with the completion of water management and engineering studies, followed by the employment at a company where I was given the opportunity to learn from great mentors and establish myself as young engineer. Working in a male-dominated industry is a challenge, but it is important to ignore the negative experiences, focus on work and deliver quality outputs.

For me, specializing in nature-based solutions seemed a natural step because of working in an environment of resilience thinking. Achieving success is hard work but it is important to surround yourself with passionate people who support each other. 

The global movement for women empowerment gave a voice to many women in the last few years. It brings new opportunities to women all around the world to step out of the shadows of their male counterparts.

Now is the time to encourage more women to go for leadership roles and pave the way for the next generations of young girls. In order to do this, we have to create an environment where opportunities for men and women are equal. It does not stop with equal rights to education, but we have to seize the opportunities for developing specific skills and capacities that are mostly work-related. Thus, we need to implement mature policies to help more women to enter the workforce under the same conditions as men (pay, promotion, education, specialization, etc.).

Photo: Anja Potokar