As a woman, working in a team with mostly men, you have to be able to stand up for yourself

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

“As a woman, working in a team with mostly men, you have to be able to stand up for yourself”

- Ylona Meeuwenberg

Ylona Meeuwenberg is software developer / application specialist in the Innovation Team at Volksbank. She is the scrummaster of her team and she controls one of the backend systems.

What do you like most about your job?

I like how my job is different from day to day. Some days I am programming all day, being in my zone, alone behind my computer. And other days we are working in a team, thinking about different functionalities and possibilities. For some people, being a developer sounds like a lonely job. But most of the time we are actually working together and helping each other.

What is it like working for Volksbank?

The culture at Volksbank really appeals to me. As developers, we are not working in a separate building, we are part of the open culture of the company. We feel free to comment on each other’s work, in order to help each other. There are many possibilities within the company and there is a lot of space for personal growth.

What have you learned, working in a team with mostly men?

Women are usually modest and sometimes they can be insecure about their own skills. That is one of the reasons why they not often choose a career in digital technology. I have done job interviews, doubting if I was good enough for the position. But I learned that if you trust you can do something, others will too. As a woman, working in a team with mostly men, you have to be able to stand up for yourself.

What advice would you give girls starting a career in digital technology?

I would advice them to stay flexible all the time. When you choose a study, any technical course is a good start. In digital technology, things change all the time. So just make sure you get a good education and don’t worry too much about which one. The one you can choose now, will be out-dated in 20 years anyway. Most of the skills you will learn during your job!

Be inspired

Within KPN Digital, Karin Croon helped lead the shift towards the agile and self-organising way of working. She and her colleagues, Claudia Hoogwerf and Liubov Kononenko, discuss how this organisational and cultural transformation made room for innovation and enabled them to become more customer-oriented, productive and resilient in a fast-changing and disruptive environment.

Digital technology is for everyone Digital technology is all around us and an integrated part of our daily life. Can you imagine not having a mobile phone at hand or no navigation system in your car? Digital technology is for everyone, men and women.

Jeroen van der Velden is an expert in organisational development and strategy. As an Associate Strategy Professor at Nyenrode Business University and the Co-Director of the Nyenrode Strategy Centre, he leads courses on digital transformation, strategy alignment, new business models and new ways of working. For more than 25 years, he has advised organisations across various sectors on strategic issues related to organisational development and teamwork. As a researcher, he focuses on strategy alignment and the effects of information technology in organisational environments. He is a core lecturer for the RightBrains Digital Leadership Programme.

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