"We should move toward a world where there are no longer any traditionally male or female professions."
- Name: Florine Vrielynck
- Age: 23
- Studies: Master Industrial Engineering, field of study computer engineering and automation as an option (Haute Ecole en Hainaut)
- Position: Junior Automation Engineer
- Hobbies: Playing tennis, reading and playing video games
The 23-year-old Florine Vrielynck works as a Junior Automation Engineer at Actemium. She provides assistance with problems related to the necessary data for user reports. She mainly does this for pharmaceutical companies.
Why did you choose to become an engineer?
Florine: After high school, I didn’t know what I wanted to become. I liked computer science and not the stereotypical female professions. In the end, I chose engineering, because this field of study offers broad career opportunities for the future. I was introduced to the engineering field thanks to my big sister who was studying engineering. Usually there are no girls in that field of study. In my class, there was only one other girl. During my school career, I had to prove that as a girl, I have the same potential to pursue that profession.
Is VINCI Energies your first employer?
Florine: Yes, I started working right after graduation. I did my graduation internship at VINCI Energies and afterwards the company immediately offered me a job. VINCI Energies consists of several subsidiaries, which makes it easy to change jobs within VINCI Energies and end up in a new company. I like the variety in my job and discovering new things. That’s why it is important to me to have this freedom of choice.
Have you ever doubted your choice of study or job because of stereotypes?
Florine: No. My parents, on the other hand, were a bit afraid of my choice, because they knew I would end up in a very masculine environment. I think it is a shame that due to clichés we don’t move forward and some women don’t even consider doing certain professions as a result. Such stereotypes contribute to perceptions of gender differences. I personally have never experienced any problems as a woman in a male-dominated sector. If a joke was made about it, it was always with respect.
How can the situation improve?
Florine: Employers need to ensure feminization in the workplace. There is an urgent need for a normalization of women in occupations that we consider traditionally masculine. We should move toward a world where there are no longer any traditionally male or female professions. Together we must eliminate stereotypes by no longer endorsing them.