Female crane operators best men in Turkey

Zübeyde Pamuk demonstrates that is more than up to the mark in operations in the Port of Mersin

Zübeyde Pamuk operates a 250t Sennebogen 880 EQ.
Zübeyde Pamuk operates a 250t Sennebogen 880 EQ.

Stevedoring company Ahtapot Denizcilik is employing women as crane operators to great effect and much success in its bulk-handling operations in the Mediterranean Port of Mersin in Turkey.

Zübeyde Pamuk operates a 250t Sennebogen 880 EQ with an operating range of 35m – seated in the Mastercab 14m above the trucks that continuously deliver material for her to dump into containers.

With the machine, Pamuk reaches a handling capacity of 1,500t per hour, according to Erkan Doğan, MD of Ahtapot, which is apparently more than many men have accomplished. Overall, he noted, the port’s rehandling capacity is greater than before, and the work climate is continuously improving.

Asked whether women are better operators, Doğan explained that Pamuk “operates the machine in a more conservative way and is also interested in maintenance and servicing”.

He added that “if servicing takes too long, she wants to know why”, and “that’s something the men don’t do, and we think it’s good that the women identify so strongly with their machines”.

For her part, Pamuk is “very satisfied with the hydraulic 880 EQ, since it is both fast and quiet, thanks to the electric drive”, which also means that it needs very little maintenance and servicing compared with the machines of the past.

However, the bottom line is that Pamuk and her female colleagues can do a man’s job without difficulty – something that, not too long ago, was not commonplace to see in many regions of the world.

“We need women in these jobs for a lot of reasons. We have grown a lot since our founding in 1999 and now have 1,500 employees. We can’t fall into stereotypes; rather we need well qualified and motivated employees of both genders,” continued Doğan.

After eight hours of work, Zübeyde Pamuk climbs down from her machine and performs a quick check to make sure everything is in order, since she'll be handing the machine to one of her colleagues on the next shift: Hüzün, Pinar, Bengü or Sena.

“Girl power in Turkey, an elegant and very modern form of emancipation,” quipped Sennebogen.

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