Why did you start She in IT?
Why specifically women in IT?
Are they really that different from men?
What is a successful woman in IT for you?
Currently I’m getting swamped with questions and I can tell you that they make me think. By the way, this is also very nice, because people are genuinely interested in what I am doing.
A lot of the questions bring me back to where I was at the beginning of my own journey. As a young girl nowadays, you have to choose quite quickly which direction you want in terms of education and let’s be honest, a lot of us at that age do not really have a clear picture of what they really like and want to do.
Do you think you can do that?
When I said I wanted to go into IT, the reactions were mixed. At home that was actually well accepted because my brother was in IT and I have a pretty independent mother. But the reactions outside were a bit different. Is that really something for a girl? Isn’t that something which is more for guys? Isn’t that too technical for you? Do you think you can do that?
I knew from an early age that I wanted to build a career in IT, but these kinds of questions still make you think and also make you doubt. In the years that I completed my education and built my career, there have been many times when I received these kinds of questions and comments. In the end I persisted, but this went with ups and downs.
After the loss of my brother, I had a tough period in which I had to rediscover myself and in which I learned “the hard way” how the business works. After several years in corporate life, it was time to reflect again and I looked back on a period when I had learned an awful lot, but completely lost myself….
Journey to self
Who was I actually? What did I want in life? Why am I so insecure about myself? Why do I always feel like I have to work so much harder to get the same appreciation? Why did my business unit always perform best? What did I do differently from others? A whole series of questions went through my head that caused me to seriously work on myself but also helped me to reflect and determine what I am really good at.
When people now ask me what a successful woman in IT is for me, there are a number of aspects that come to mind:
- A woman who knows who she is and where she wants to go and is proud of it
- With the right mindset
- With clear objectives and a concrete action plan
- Who knows how to get things done
- Flowing with energy and feels good about herself
- Who knows her value and is not afraid to ask for it!
But above all a strong woman who stands her ground, stands up for herself and makes her own choices and I wish that for every young girl and woman!
With love, Hendrika