"It is never too late to completely change your career path”
- Name: Eva Olyslager
- Age: 27
- Studies: Orthopedagogy (AP Hogeschool Antwerpen)
- Job title: Electromechanician
- Hobbies: Refurbishing furniture and padel
The 27-year-old Eva Olyslager is an electromechanician at Omexom. She spends her days working with electricity and mechanics, such as low voltage connections and cabling.
Can you describe the professional journey you have taken so far?
Eva: I studied orthopedagogy, a very academical field of study. After high school, I decided to go to college. Students who complete a general secondary education are often expected to follow that route. Without further reflection, I just followed what others did and unfortunately it had not occurred to me to go my own way. After that, I worked as a self-employed person in sales and marketing for two years. I realized that this choice was making me feel unhappy and I decided to follow my childhood dream. As a child, I wanted to become a car mechanic, a profession that society often perceives as too masculine for women. I have always been attracted to the idea of working with my hands. In my spare time I am constantly engaged in creative activities and quite literally roll up my sleeves to do so.
And from that moment on you decided to completely turn your life around?
Eva: Indeed. I stopped being self-employed and finally decided to look for a job where I could put my talents to work. An employment agency offered me the chance to follow a short course in electricity. That is how I found my way to VINCI Energies. I was immediately sold by the appealing company operations and the many career opportunities. It just proves that it is never too late to completely change your career path.
Where did you get the strength to follow your childhood dream?
Eva: From my parents. They have always encouraged me to work hard and to not worry about what others think or say. Of course, as a parent, it is only normal to want a safe future for your children. That is also the reason that they encouraged me to get a degree when I had not yet truly discovered myself and did not yet know with certainty what I really wanted to do. It ensured that I had a backup plan and could find a job more easily.
How do you experience being a woman in a technical work field?
Eva: I am indeed the only woman working together with about thirty men and I actually really like that. I work together with other companies on different sites and continuously meet new people. Sometimes I feel like all eyes are on me. This is more often the result of surprise or respect and I never experience it as a kind of discrimination in the workplace. A positive development would be if more women realized that they are more than welcome in technical professions. This openness to diversity is exactly what drew me to VINCI Energies.