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Valdete Marevci Dërmaku
The first woman engineer of Prishtina’s district heating company

The story of Valdete Marevci Dërmaku | Engineer at Prishtina’s District Heating Company – TERMOKOS


In the dynamic landscape of Kosovo's energy sector, Valdete Marevci Dërmaku emerges as a formidable figure, breaking gender barriers and contributing significantly to the energy field. Holding a degree in mechanical engineering and currently serving as the coordinator of projects with other institutions at Termokos Public District Heating Company, Valdete's journey is a legacy to both her personal resilience and the transformative potential of women in the energy sector.


Valdete's early exposure to mechanical engineering began when she started high school in her hometown Ferizaj in 1988, where a foundation in STEM subjects and family encouragement paved the way for her academic success. Graduating in mechanical engineering in 2022 marked a significant achievement, a feat that demanded an unwavering commitment to the rigorous academic environment of the University of Prishtina's Technical Faculty Universities.


Her professional journey commenced with KFOR, NATO's peacekeeping force in Kosovo, where Valdete was a quality inspector engineer. Subsequent roles within the Ministry of Trade and Industry and the Department of Metrology gave her the opportunity to grow professionally in parallel with the recently established institution. In 2004, she joined Termokos, taking on roles of increasing responsibility and leaving an indelible mark on the company's trajectory.


Valdete's initial role as the head of the department for mechanical maintenance at Termokos showcased her leadership acumen as she oversaw the maintenance of primary and secondary networks, managing a team of 45 individuals. Undeterred by the challenges associated with being a young woman in a leadership role, Valdete's dedication and capability soon led her to assume the position of department head.


Transitioning to the role of supervisor of heating systems in Prishtina schools, Valdete recognised the moral responsibility inherent in her work, particularly as it directly impacted the well-being of children. Her approach to decision-making and responsibility reflects a meticulous consideration of consequences, a trait she believes women bring to the forefront in the professional realm.


In her current role as the coordinator of Termokos with other institutions, Valdete oversees development plans, annual and long-term balances, and reports for tariff reviews, emphasising the need for new professionals and experts to contribute to Kosovo's energy sector growth. Termokos, under her guidance, is embarking on ambitious projects such as incorporating solar energy generation for public thermal heating and doubling capacities generated from the Kosova B power plant, highlighting the need for a skilled workforce.


Beyond her corporate responsibilities, Valdete actively engages with AWESK, a women-led organisation in Kosovo focused on inspiring young girls to pursue careers in STEM and energy. Joining AWESK in 2017, she has consistently contributed to the energy efficiency group, delivering lectures in Ferizaj to raise awareness among women and girls.


Valdete understands the significance of representation, being the sole female engineer at her workplace for over two decades. Her involvement with AWESK seeks to address the under-representation of women in the energy sector, fostering a supportive community for female professionals and encouraging younger generations to join the organisation.


She also highlights the demand for women engineers in Kosovo's evolving energy landscape, urging greater representation through scholarships to support young girls pursuing engineering education. Her advocacy aligns with the mission of AWESK, as she envisions a future where women actively participate in shaping the energy sector's progress and development.


In conclusion, Valdete Marevci Dërmaku's journey serves as a beacon of inspiration for women aspiring to make their mark in Kosovo's energy sector. Her leadership, both within Termokos and through her involvement with AWESK, exemplifies the transformative impact of women professionals on the industry. Valdete's story resonates not only as a testament to individual achievement but also as a call to action for fostering diversity and inclusion in Kosovo's pursuit of energy sector excellence.


This story was developed by the Association of Women in Energy Sector in Kosovo with the support from the Center for International Private Enterprise within "WE-Champs: Strengthening the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem by Networking Regional Women’s Chambers of Commerce and Business Associations" project, funded by the U.S. Department of State Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues (S/GWI). All opinions stated herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of the United States Government or CIPE.

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