11 October 2018Inside stories

We all know it is scientifically proven that a woman’s brain differs from a man’s brain. For this reason it is most likely that women have other ideas and insights than men, which is only one of the benefits of having a mixed team at work. Collaborating in a diverse team is challenging since you need to think in a different way. Consequently, people work more effectively and therefore there’s more productivity. However, it is hard to find technical educated women to complement a men’s team, so in reality, we have to adjust a little. 

When I started my studies in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Applied Science, there were only 3 women out of 180 guys. It wasn’t even possible to sneeze without everyone knowing, so don’t even think about skipping classes. Everyone knows who you are and what you do; because you’re the girl that studies mechanical engineering. Despite the fact I had to follow (almost) every class and did the right thing to get my degrees, I never felt any negativity during my 4,5 years of studying in a man’s world. Not at school, not during my internships. I feel lucky to be a woman in technology, since I never expected it to be so enjoyable.

After my graduation in January this year, I started working at DMN-WESTINGHOUSE in April. At the drawing office, I have been working on 3D models in Solidworks, busy with implementing the Solidworks Product Data Management System and I’ve been modelling a Research & Development project. ‘Of course’ this office only consists of men, but I’m used to it and I like it. We have the same humour and we laugh a lot, not only on Fridays. I’ve also noticed that my colleagues are giving me the chance to learn by trial and error; just what every newbie needs. I also love that my work isn’t all theoretical; it’s just a one minute walk to the machinery, assembling and service department, where you’re sensing the complete experience.  I’m happy and proud to be part of DMN-WESTINGHOUSE, because we’re creating excellent products with wonderful and dedicated people. Plus, they gave me a great opportunity to let me evolve.

To get back to women in technology: the companies I’ve worked for, including DMN-WESTINGHOUSE, never explicitly mentioned that I was a great female employee. They mentioned I was a great employee which I highly appreciate. Women don’t need an award for being different because, (I guess) just like men, they want to be respected for their personality and skills, not gender. So luckily, being a woman in a man’s world is not that hard as most people expect. To be honest: it’s fun!

Anniek Verhoef

Contact : +31(0)252 361 800


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