"Feminisation in the workplace starts from an early age through education and training."
- Name: Annelies Van Daele
- Age: 44
- Studies: Master’s degree in Applied Economic Sciences (FUCaM: UCLouvain Faculté Université Catholique de Mons) option market research and market studies
- Function: Project Manager
- Hobbies: Piloxing (a combination of boxing and pilates), running and since Covid: going on walks
Annelies Van Daele, 44, works as a Project Manager at Axians, the brand of VINCI Energies Belgium which develops custom-made software. She supervises the project management from A to Z with an eye for the wishes and requirements of her clients.
What attracted you to VINCI Energies?
Annelies: When I was looking at job vacancies, Axians’ slogan immediately caught my eye: ‘The best of ICT with a human touch’. Here the emphasis is on the human aspect and social responsibility. The customer and the employees are truly at the heart of everything. In my previous job, I worked in radio communications, a tough business environment mainly populated by men. At Axians, this is somewhat similar but we are attracting more and more women and this is combined with attention to what is societally relevant, for example in what we do for the healthcare sector. In this way, my job offers a lot of variety.
Do you manage to strike a good balance between your work and family?
Annelies: It is certainly a challenge to be a working mother, because you constantly have to find the right work-life balance. On the one hand, you have your own professional ambitions, but on the other, you have children to look after. At VINCI Energies, I feel that one does not exclude the other. The work ethic here is truly people-oriented, it gives me the freedom to make my own schedule which allows me to get more enjoyment out of my work. At VINCI Energies, I am given the space to find that balance between work and family.
Is there someone whose footsteps you want to follow?
Annelies: Michelle Obama managed to find a good combination between her work and family life. She supported her husband in his political ambitions and then also had time for her family. She also does charity work to improve access to education for girls. I would not want to follow in her exact footsteps, but I see her as a kind of role model with many admirable qualities. She sets a powerful example for other women and stands up for gender equality in education. This is in line with my own view that technical education should also be more accessible to women. I see no reason why men would be more capable of doing a job, even if it is sometimes perceived as such. When it comes to feminisation in the workplace, it all starts at an early age with education and training.