"Children should be encouraged to base study and job choices on their own preferences and talents."
- Name: Sophie De Decker
- Age: 43
- Studies: Civil Engineer (VUB)
- Job title: Business Unit Manager
- Hobbies: Sports, cooking and reading
Sophie De Decker is a Business Unit Manager at VINCI Energies in Belgium. She is responsible for the technical maintenance department and more specifically for long-term contracts. Among many other taksk, she is in charge of the staff, as well as the financial and operational aspects of her Business Unit.
How do you try to elevate yourself to a higher level?
Sophie: For me it is crucial to acquire new knowledge and to continue to develop myself. I look up to people with a lot of perseverance who are able to make their dreams come true. The more you grow, the more self-confidence and passion you develop in what you do. For me, VINCI Energies is the employer par excellence that contributes to self-development and my own growth potential. Which is why I am very happy with the opportunities the company offers.
As a woman, is it possible to find a good balance between your work and private life?
Sophie: That is not always easy. It’s a big difference when you have to do your own housekeeping in addition to your job. The perception that it is mainly women who do the housework is shifting. Young people entering the labour market have a completely different outlook on life. The work-life balance is becoming increasingly important, also for men. People want to work in order to live. In my generation, work usually came first for men, whereas now more and more men also want to spend a lot of time with their families. Some even stop working once they have a child. In the past, that was simply not done and was only done by women. Thanks to this shift, I feel that women are increasingly able to combine family life and work.
How can we convince more girls to choose the technical sector?
Sophie: The technical talents of our children must be nurtured better and earlier. I suspect that young people are too late in learning about all the professional possibilities and thus do not really know what these professions entail. Some girls only opt for a theoretical education, because that is considered the norm. Later, they discover that their talents do not actually match the practical side of the profession and they realise too late that they want to do something else. We should also really get away from the idea that certain fields of study offer more opportunities for the future depending on the gender. Instead, children should be encouraged to base their study and job choices on their own preferences and talents. This is the only way to eliminate stereotypes.