As a woman, working in a team with mostly men, you have to be able to stand up for yourself

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

“As a woman, working in a team with mostly men, you have to be able to stand up for yourself”

- Ylona Meeuwenberg

Ylona Meeuwenberg is software developer / application specialist in the Innovation Team at Volksbank. She is the scrummaster of her team and she controls one of the backend systems.

What do you like most about your job?

I like how my job is different from day to day. Some days I am programming all day, being in my zone, alone behind my computer. And other days we are working in a team, thinking about different functionalities and possibilities. For some people, being a developer sounds like a lonely job. But most of the time we are actually working together and helping each other.

What is it like working for Volksbank?

The culture at Volksbank really appeals to me. As developers, we are not working in a separate building, we are part of the open culture of the company. We feel free to comment on each other’s work, in order to help each other. There are many possibilities within the company and there is a lot of space for personal growth.

What have you learned, working in a team with mostly men?

Women are usually modest and sometimes they can be insecure about their own skills. That is one of the reasons why they not often choose a career in digital technology. I have done job interviews, doubting if I was good enough for the position. But I learned that if you trust you can do something, others will too. As a woman, working in a team with mostly men, you have to be able to stand up for yourself.

What advice would you give girls starting a career in digital technology?

I would advice them to stay flexible all the time. When you choose a study, any technical course is a good start. In digital technology, things change all the time. So just make sure you get a good education and don’t worry too much about which one. The one you can choose now, will be out-dated in 20 years anyway. Most of the skills you will learn during your job!

Be inspired

At BearingPoint, Ilse Spoelstra supports companies as they navigate digital disruption and technology-driven change. By combining her business and change management skills with creativity and empathy, she supports her customers in providing a more seamless and personalised digital experience to their customers.

Marcolien de Haan is Vice President IT of Avery Dennison LGM and IHM for about a month now. Before that, she was CIO (Chief Information Officer) of Perfetti Van Melle, making her responsible for all IT. And while Vice President IT of a large company may sound like a dream job, this power woman with a high level of positive energy has by no means reached her limit.

Jan Veldsink has more than 25 years of experience in digital technology. He has a passion for technology and people, and his areas of expertise include artificial intelligence (AI), intelligent systems, robotics, cyber security, and organisational and group dynamics. As a technical researcher and long-time lecturer at Nyenrode Business University, he teaches core classes and leads student teams in identifying new AI application areas. As a speaker, senior advisor, trainer and coach, his mission is to help teams and organisations develop a safe and sustainable environment.

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