Alejandra Pecka is a medical physicist for Siemens Healthineers

Alejandra Pecka is a medical physicist for Siemens Healthineers

 September 22, 2023

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Creating a more equitable world, women at Siemens Healthineers are leading the way in embracing equity in healthcare and beyond.

Alejandra Pecka has made a significant contribution to her field at Siemens Healthineers. Passionate about her work, Alejandra understands how embracing equity and diverse perspectives fuels innovation. 

Alejandra shares how she encounters cultural diversity through her career as a medical physicist in radiation oncology.

Embracing her own career path 

After moving around a lot for her job, Alejandra now works as Global Marketing Manager CT in Radiation Oncology at Siemens Healthineers.

Alejandra still remembers some of the reactions to her desire to study physics. “I heard things like: You need to be an intellectual to become a scientist. Are you even smart enough?” says Alejandra.

But she remained undeterred: While attending college in Bolivia, Alejandra participated in a science Olympiad and earned a scholarship for her physics studies. A few years later, Alejandra stands proudly by one of the first proton-therapy devices that Varian installed in Munich. Alejandra played a significant part in building the chambers. Embracing her own career path and preventing doubts or worries from holding her back, this quality makes her a remarkable woman.

"Sure, sometimes I still have to speak up, but the basis which makes me able to do this, is an equity-based environment," adds Alejandra.

Developing self-confidence 

Alejandra was raised by her mother and grandmother, two strong female role models who encouraged her to stand up for herself.

“Self-confidence is something that I sometimes truly lacked, but I tried to overcome that step by step. It is the biggest challenge to believe in yourself and what you are capable of," explains Alejandra.

Alejandra's mother eventually encouraged her to always raise her voice and have the courage to lead. This lesson has been Alejandra's constant companion, giving her the self-confidence she needed to forge her own path in physics. 

Advocating for better healthcare 

When she was 18, Alejandra’s grandmother was diagnosed with stomach cancer. But in Bolivia the treatment options were limited. “In Bolivia back then, cancer therapy was usually related to surgery or chemotherapy,” remembers Alejandra.

This strengthened Alejandra’s decision to study medical physics and specialize in proton therapy. “I discovered that there is radiation therapy and that could be very well-used in my country," adds Alejandra.

To learn more about this treatment option and further her journey, Alejandra first moved to Italy for her Ph.D. and then to Germany and Switzerland to work on proton therapy and pursue different roles from physics support to tender management and product marketing at Varian. Today, Alejandra is a medical physicist at Siemens Healthineers who advocates for better access to healthcare across borders and genders. 

Inspiring the younger generation 

Alejandra Pecka, Global Marketing Manager CT Radiation Oncology

Her professional life is important for Alejandra, who needs intellectual challenges. Moving is also part of it: Alejandra's first job at Varian brought her to Germany, then she was transferred to Switzerland, and is now back in Germany. 

Alejandra has not only conducted application training in more than 40 hospitals across Europe but has also experienced firsthand the richness of cultural diversity: “It’s about understanding how other people live and that not everyone thinks like you. I get a different perspective from every person I talk to. Depending on where you are, the solution remains the same, but it will be applied in different ways. My approach is to be flexible and to listen. I always try to put myself in the perspective of the other person so that we are able to speak the same language."

Conversations with people and exposure to new cultures are like a second passion for Alejandra. But what impresses her the most is the shared goal of providing the best for the patients, and that unites everyone.

“Without my job, I would not have experienced this side of the world. I would not have met so many people or learned so many other things. It all enriches me every day," explains Alejandra.

Keeping her goals in sight

Alejandra's journey to this point has been anything but a detour, as she always kept her goals firmly in sight.

“When I saw a Varian booth at a conference for the first time as a student, it impressed me. I thought it must be so hard to get there. And, finally, being a part of the company as an employee myself was a highlight in my career. It made me feel very special. For some people, it might not be impressive, but for me, it was like a milestone," says Alejandra.

Today, when she hears comments about her career path, Alejandra simply says: “I just went ahead and did my thing.” And her journey is far from over: “I wanted to do more. I wanted to take a step farther, so I went back to college, and I am finishing my master’s in brand and marketing management right now.”

Inspiring the next generation 

As a mother of two sons, Alejandra wants to inspire the younger generation to keep pushing for more equity. Alejandra believes that everyone should be treated like they want to be treated, and without making a difference between genders or appearance.

Alejandra says she was bullied as a kid because of her weight and her looks. Today, she sees her body as part of her identity and enjoys experimenting with fashion or Bolivian carnival costumes.

Inspired to forge a career at Siemens Healthineers?

Siemens Healthineers aims to be an employer of choice for everyone who seeks to continuously learn, innovate, and pioneer breakthroughs in healthcare. 

Research their latest career vacancies to understand more about the wide range of career pathways on offer.


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