"I played with so called 'boys' toys' as a child. Even from an early age, I didn't care about the social conventions about women."
- Name: Clémence De Block
- Age: 30
- Studies: Bachelor’s Architectural Engineer (UGent), Master’s Industrial Engineering Option Construction (KU Leuven), Master’s Welding Engineering (KU Leuven)
- Function: Junior Mechanical Engineer
- Hobbies: Running
30-year-old Clémence De Block is a Junior Mechanical Engineer at Actemium. Clémence is responsible for the execution of the mechanical pipings, from the preparation of the quotation to the delivery of projects.
Why did you decide to join VINCI Energies?
Clémence: What attracted me to VINCI Energies was the diversity. I had a look at the website beforehand, which strongly persuaded me to apply. We work with people from different backgrounds and cultures, which is a huge plus for the company. Moreover, there are quite a few women working here, despite the traditionally large number of men in the engineering world. I feel completely at ease here.
What are your perspectives for the future?
Clémence: That’s a difficult question, but I aspire to have a more managerial role one day. Not only to have more impact in what I do, but also to have a positive impact on young girls and women. I want to show them that you don’t have to play with dolls to feel like a girl. That you have to study what you are most interested in. Even if you want to choose a technical field, you should not worry about what is said about women in technology. I want to show them to look beyond the social conventions about women in our society.
Have you ever had to deal with prejudice because you are a woman?
Clémence: Yes, both as a child and in the workplace. I have always played with cars instead of dolls from a very young age and I loved playing football. I always got comments like “You are not a girl, because you don’t play with dolls”. Fortunately, this did not bother me too much. In secondary school, I started to doubt myself a bit more. However, thanks to a very good maths teacher who motivated me to do what felt right. It is also because of her that I was drawn to work with technology.
As a female engineer, I also had to prove myself in the workplace, which is different for men. In the past, I had to justify my abilities and convince everyone that what I could do on paper was also true in practice. I had to assert myself in the beginning and, above all, not let anyone push me around. At VINCI Energies, I did not have to prove myself as a female engineer. I was put at ease because everyone assumed that I knew my stuff and that they could trust me with it.