Were you the only woman on the team? What was that like?
Yes. Nothing special, I’m just one software developer among others.
How has your career evolved over the years?
All my career is within the same company and within the same division or subsegment, STS TEST. My career grew from programming software to managing a product line and also extends to skills for business analytics today. The highlight of my career was when I joined the club of excellent performers in 2016.
Who has helped you along the way?
I’m in touch with so many people with my close-to 19 year career. I can’t just name one. Although, if there is one, that must be my boss Ludo Gielen. He interviewed me for my move to the product management team in 2006. More than 10 years working directly and indirectly with him helped me to build my work “personality” and “quality” today and thus the achievement of “excellent performer”.
A few years ago, I went through some health problems. Ludo was the one who listened to me and made my work life easier.
Do you think being a woman helped or hurt your career?
Being a woman working in an engineer company surrounded by mainly men can sometimes be good or bad. My personal experience, within the same company, is mainly positive. I believe that it is related to the culture of the company, most of the colleagues that I have encountered or worked with during my career, value quality and capability of a person but not his or her gender.
What type of advantages does your country offer compared to other countries? Has this been an advantage?
Maternity leave and legislation around it, it helps you to have confidence that your job will still be there during pregnancy and maternity leave.
What type of advice would you give young women looking to enter engineering?
Consider herself as an engineer but not a woman, then her colleagues will see her that way.
Would you advise your daughter to follow in your footsteps? Why or why not?
If I had a daughter, definitely “Yes” if she has an engineering mind and was interested about it. I will definitely say the same for my son.
What still should be done to make the world of engineering more gender equal?
We are mostly human beings with different qualities and qualifications. There is no one job for only men or only women. It all depends on the interest and the quality of that person.
How far do we have to go to achieve gender equality as a whole?
When we have “International Man’s Day”, LOL.
Have we achieved gender equality? If so, why?
In some parts of the world, we are close, in other parts of the world, still a lot to be done.
How much of a role does culture play in gender equality?
No matter what culture, there are always conservative people. There are some parts of the world moving a bit faster than the other parts of the world for gender equality. Nevertheless, we are more and more informed with Internet, gender equality is always challenged and compared around the world.
Do you honestly think gender equality is possible?
As a woman, I would always like a gentleman to open the car door for me