"I hope the next generation of women pursue their interests and qualities."
- Name: Ellen Vanhove
- Age: 29
- Studies: Master computer science engineering (Ugent)
- Function: Software Engineer
- Hobbies: Folk dancing, fitness, balcony gardening and Lego
The 29-year-old Ellen Vanhove works as a Software Engineer at Axians. More specifically, she is currently working as a consultant for a major player in the travel business. There, in addition to the analysis and implementation of new functionalities, she is also responsible for the support of team members.
How did you get into the technical field?
Ellen: I always had a strong interest in computer science. In high school, I considered taking the programming elective, but then I unfortunately let the idea of being the only girl stop me. Thankfully, I grew more confident and later chose to major in computer science. Here, I came into contact with the many different aspects of computer science, such as programming, software development, algorithmic thinking and artificial intelligence, which helped me quickly discover where my interests lay. My current position is therefore a logical consequence of my education, along with my interests and talents.
What evolution have you already gone through and how do you see your journey evolving?
Ellen: I often come across as confident, but I had to learn that too. During my first days at Axians, I had trouble asking for help. Luckily, I soon noticed that I could go to anyone. The enthusiasm of my colleagues reassured me and encouraged me to ask more questions. I now try to encourage others to do the same, because there are no stupid questions. I am also becoming better at explaining technical matters. It is important to use a different approach with different people, which is still a learning process. In the short term, I am mainly looking for technical knowledge. My focus is on gaining experience. Additionally, in the long term I would like to evolve toward a position where I may, for example, manage a team.
What do you think is needed to attract more women into the tech sector?
Ellen: It basically starts at a very young age. Children often have a very clear image of professions such as doctor or police officer, while the technical sector remains rather abstract. Offering a clearer picture of jobs like developer, and especially their social relevance, can play a crucial role in this. By participating in this campaign, I want to do my part. I hope that the next generation of women dares to pursue their interests and qualities and has the courage to choose an elective like programming without hesitation.