"We need to appreciate what we can create ourselves, as well as the satisfaction these skills bring."
- Name: Daniëlle van Kuijk-Bakx
- Age: 44
- Studies: Automation Electronics (Technisch Lyceum Eindhoven, now Summa College), degrees in Projecting Expert fire detection systems and evacuation systems & Junior Engineer sprinkler technology
- Function: Senior Project Engineer
- Hobbies: Drawing, painting and crafting
The 44-year-old Daniëlle works as a Senior Project Engineer at Cegelec, where she designs fire detection systems and is responsible for the signalization of sprinkler systems. Her main tasks include preparing design documents and projection drawings. Once an installation is delivered, she also checks the operation of the equipment and software on site.
Where does your love for techniques come from?
Daniëlle: From a young age, I had a natural inclination towards the technical realm. My father was often involved with electronics and, for example, when I was eight years old he taught me how to solder. So techniques were taught to me at an early age. When I finished primary school, the prevailing advice was to choose a more general study field. However, my heart was set on attending a technical school and fortunately my parents were fully supportive. They always gave me the freedom to follow my aspirations and that feeling of constant support is truly wonderful as a child.
Why did you choose a job within the field of fire protection?
Daniëlle: Fire is an intangible phenomenon that can involve danger. It therefore gives me enormous satisfaction when I am the one who can make an environment as safe as possible, by detecting dangers and ensuring that people are alerted in time so that they can leave the room quickly and safely. Ensuring the safety of others always comes first for me. I was introduced to VINCI Energies during my previous job through various collaborative projects. What piqued my interest in the company was their distinctive approach of not offering standard installations, but rather customized industrial installations specifically tailored to the customer’s needs. That means you always get to create something special and encounter exciting design challenges along the way.
What measures do you believe are essential to enhance the appeal of the technical sector to women?
Daniëlle: As I do not live in Belgium, I am speaking from a Dutch point of view. There is a prevailing social perception that girls are not suited for technical professions and at the same time, boys are discouraged from pursuing careers in, for example, healthcare. Moreover, technical studies are often undervalued. It is important that we as a society actively work to change this mindset. We need to appreciate what we can create ourselves, as well as the satisfaction these skills bring. This campaign is certainly a step in the right direction. Moreover, even in general at VINCI Energies, there is deliberately no distinction between men and women. The absence of such distinctions is as important as taking proactive actions, since creating an inclusive space means both actively participating in initiatives and preventing gender bias from being perpetuated.