For Internal Women’s Day, 8th of March, we are going to put a focus on our three (all female) Life Science talent managers: Deborah Gelfged, Mariken De Ruyck and Els Roesems. They are HR experts who are constantly working to improve our careers and well-being within the company. We asked them a few questions and these were the answers:The demand for female profiles in STEM is always increasing. What needs to be done by society to improve man-woman ratios in companies?
Diversity is important for all workplaces. People with different experiences, backgrounds, sensibilities... can develop innovative ideas. This is the reason why it’s important to cultivate also gender diversity in the workplace. To improve the ratio, companies should have processes in place, so all employees meet the same standards as they progress through their careers. They also need to provide the same trainings and opportunities. An important element is the work/life balance. If companies offer the employees a certain flexibility in schedules or in the possibility of home working, they can attract more women. There need to be an understanding and a recognition for one’s personal situation.
Ann De BisschopDiversity in the workplace is conducive to a healthy work atmosphere. What do you think is important to create diversity within a company?
There are several reasons why employers and businesses should care about diversity. A diverse workplace brings a broad range of experience, skills and backgrounds, which can certainly have a positive impact. Diversity can grow the employee retention and drive a much more productive and positive workforce. To create diversity within a company, you need mutual respect among employees, ethics and fair employment practices. You need a positive environment where people are equally and respectfully treated, are recognized for their efforts and are strengthened in their competencies. This kind of behaviour within a company can attract a wide pool of qualified applicants. An inclusive culture can help the employer brand to attract and retain a diverse workforce.
- Ann De Bisschop
What advice do you want to give woman who want to enter the STEM job market?
Our advice would be to believe in yourself, in your skills and in your knowledge. Follow your dreams and invest in what gives you positive energy and drive. Reflect on what you want to achieve and how you want to fulfil your role as an employee, mother and spouse. Michel Obama said “One of the lessons that I grew up with was to always stay true to yourself and never let what somebody else says distract you from your goals. And so when I hear about negative and false attacks, I really don’t invest any energy in them, because I know who I am”. So, don’t be scared if you have to get out of your comfort zone and always keep your motivations and goals in mind.
- Joost Callens
- Joost Callens
Deborah Gelfged, Mariken De Ruyck and Els Roesems
Life Science Talent Managers