“I no longer really perceive the technical sector as a man's world.”
- Name: Laura Slop
- Age: 24
- Studies: Bachelor in Integral Safety (De Haagse Hogeschool), additional specialized training as Secondary Safety Expert (Kader Group)
- Function: HSE Coordinator
- Hobbies: Organizing events and spending time with friends
The 24-year-old Laura Slop works as an HSE Coordinator at Cegelec. She monitors all safety-related matters, including preparing safety plans with risk inventories. She is also responsible for creating annual plans and improvement proposals. Therefore, she stays in touch with customers and regularly visits construction sites, where the main focus is improving the safety culture.
What made you want to pursue a career in the technical field?
Laura: This career was not planned as I did not have a passion for technology from a very young age. It is rather a coincidence. For my internships, I chose to experience working in different sectors. The technical sector appealed to me the most, because I felt that I could express myself more and really help people. So the sector was not immediately what I preferred until my very first work experience.
Have you ever faced prejudice based on the fact that you are a woman?
Laura: Fortunately, I have never experienced discriminatory behavior. That may also be partly because I can express myself well and can clearly demonstrate my expertise. However, it does often remain a taboo topic, which undoubtedly stems from the days when only men were employed within the technical sector. Although there are currently still fewer women practicing technical professions, this is visibly changing. So I no longer really perceive our sector as a man’s world, thanks to the increasing number of companies that are actively improving on diversity and inclusion. I, for instance, felt welcome at VINCI Energies from the start and was immediately included in the ‘work family’. The culture is very open and not overly formal, allowing us to really say everything to each other, regardless of whether a man or a woman is standing in front of you. Therefore, women interested in a technical job really should not hesitate and follow their passion.
How do you envision the rest of your career path?
Laura: I am currently working with a colleague from whom I am learning a lot. I enjoy our collaboration as I am constantly inspired to keep going on and expand my knowledge even more. Moreover, I am also in the process of discussing my future work possibilities at VINCI Energies. I have already taken a number of courses, but would love to go back to school to learn even more. My ambition is to eventually become an HSE Manager. However, I find it especially important that I can continue to have lots of variation in my daily responsibilities.