ICT Woman of the Year 2019

The Data News editorial team has elected 5 leading ICT Women.
Vote now for your favourite ICT Woman. Public and jury votes will each count for 50%.

Karen Boers
Karen Boers
CEO at BeCode and co-founder of startups.be

Karen Boers
CEO at BeCode and co-founder of startups.be

Karen is a serial social impact entrepreneur. She has co-founded and managed both Startups.be and the European Startup Network. The European Startup Network is unifying national startup associations to create a common voice for European startups so that more can start, scale and succeed in the EU. Startups.be is the one-stop-shop for Belgian tech entrepreneurs with a global ambition. The organization helps them by providing easy and qualitative access to investors, customers and experts. As a non-profit organisation, Startups.be connects the dots in the tech ecosystem and acts like the voice of the startups in Belgium. Since its foundation in 2013, Startups.be has quickly grown to represent more than 1500 startups, and over 120 Belgian organisations working for entrepreneurs. Karen only recently decided to leave StartUps.be because she would like to take the time to fully focus on the BeCode and take it to a next level.

Karen’s most recent venture, the disruptive coding school BeCode, allows adults to retrain into skilled web developers no matter what their background or (lack of) degree & experience. Combining skills development and a social inclusion angle ensure that people who have been put aside all their lives will now be able to fill the gaps in the fast growing digital job market. With 200 graduates and 6 campuses up and running within 2 years, the social enterprise has proven to be highly scalable through the combination of a social mission and a startup approach.
Karen has about 15 years of extensive experience in community development as well as design and implementation of large marketing campaigns (including conferences and mass events). She has headed the marketing team at iMinds (formerly IBBT, nowadays called imec) for eight years, putting the software innovation institute on the European map and on the radar of many innovation actors across the world. Karen Boers is married and has five children at home.

Laurence Janssens
Laurence Janssens
Country Manager Southern Africa at Microsoft

Laurence Janssens
Country Manager Southern Africa at Microsoft

In April 2017, Laurence Janssens and her family moved from Brussels to Sub Sahara Africa, where she became Microsoft’s country manager for the Southern African region covering Angola, Botswana, Namibia and Zambia. She is part of the leadership team of Microsoft that manages 65 countries across Africa & the Levant region – from Southern Africa to Pakistan.

On a daily basis, Laurence and her local teams are supporting the digital transformation of key economic actors of Angola and Botswana in Mining, Oil and Gas, and Financial Services. It is a thrilling place to be as recent advances in areas of AI, mobile and cloud technologies allow organisations in Africa to leapfrog into the 21st century and create local opportunities for their young and vibrant populations.

Besides her commercial role, Laurence is also actively involved in inclusion, employment and digital education projects in the region. Over the last months, she and her team have been particularly active in Botswana, working jointly with the Botswana Innovation Hub and Microsoft 4Afrika in the launch of the first app factory in Botswana. Its aim is to improve youth employability by bridging the skills gap for graduates. AppFactory apprentices can spend up to six months working on real-world projects with senior software engineers. At the end of each internship, graduates are able to fully design, implement and deploy cloud-enabled, mobile solutions. Typically 85% of apprentices secure full-time employment within three months of graduating. Microsoft 4Afrika currently has 18 AppFactories across Africa and to date, 1,400 apprentices have graduated across the continent.

Laurence Janssens joined Microsoft at the beginning of 2015 as Public Sector Lead for Belgium. In this role she has assisted many ministries and international institutions in their digital and modernization journey over the last years. She was also board member of Microsoft’s Innovation Centers in Belgium (MIC).

She is a BAEF fellow, holds an MBA from the Chicago Booth school of business and a commercial engineer master degree from the KUL (Leuven). She is a member of Women on Board and has had the chance to participate in the mentoring program of Guberna.
Laurence Janssens holds both Belgian and Swiss citizenship, is married to a US citizen, and has 3 teenage boys.

Heidi Rakels
Heidi Rakels
Founder and CEO at GuardSquare

Heidi Rakels
Founder and CEO at GuardSquare

In a previous life, Heidi Rakels was known among the wider public as a medal-winning judoka: a great sporting career, which she ended once and for all in 2004. Heidi has since then been working in the ICT sector. This may have been a surprise for the outside world, but not for her. “I was obsessed with sports as a young girl, but I also liked maths. I’m glad that I became a civil engineer in computer sciences parallel to my sports career,” she now says. When she said farewell to the judo world at 36, Heidi wanted to go into programing. “I really wanted to become a software engineer. The funny thing is that I was being approached time and again to go into sales or to become a project leader, but programing was what I really wanted to do, and so I did it for about 10 years, among others for Proximus and Eurocontrol,” says the now 50-year-old Heidi Rakels.

A successful open source project by her partner however stimulated her sense of business. “We decided to set up a commercial business in security, as we noticed a high demand and could not respond to it via the open source project. We set up GuardSquare in 2014 when our first version was ready.” We were looking at an international target public from the outset. We had a major bank as a client within one week, and half of GuardSquare’s clients are still in the banking sector.

The business meanwhile employs some 40 workers of 12 different nationalities. Sales take place from Leuven. The business does not publish concrete sales figures but this year, it won the fifth edition of Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500, making it the fastest growing technology business of the year. “We are very proud of this, as we have never needed money and are very profitable. We have remained conservative up until now, but this year we are going all-in. Yet we will still not need much money, unless we carry out some takeovers. We produce and sell our software in a very efficient manner.”

Heidi Rakels wants to reach the 100 million dollar-threshold in sales within the next five years. “If you stay small as a product supplier, you will be swallowed up. You have to be ambitious.”

Why should you vote for Heidi? “Because I am the proof that a woman can do it. I studied computer sciences, I program and I own a start-up company. I am permanently in a man’s world and I do not understand why so few women choose this career path. Because women get fewer chances? I do not believe that. It’s just not an obvious choice, because too few women make it.”

Barbara Van Den Haute
Barbara Van Den Haute
Administrator-General at Informatie Vlaanderen

Barbara Van Den Haute
Administrator-General at Informatie Vlaanderen

Barbara Van Den Haute has been the Administrator-General at Informatie Vlaanderen since
September 2017 and focuses on two key issues: “no wrong door” and “API first”. The aim of this is to ensure that citizens, businesses and associations can get the information they need from the government easily and preferably via any means possible. The final aim is one citizen’s profile containing all the information that the Government has on you so you do not need to enter or request this each time yourself. “There was often the tendency up to now to set up a separate service and e-office, which only held the information for that service”, says Barbara Van Den Haute. “That leads to a stop-and-go experience for many citizens. This is why we created ‘Mijn Burgerprofiel’ [My Citizen’s profile], a plugin that we provide for all government bodies, also federal and local.”

Barbara has a master’s degree in political sciences from KU Leuven and specialized at VUB in international and European law. She initially started her career in the private sector at AXA and Technitemps but quickly opted for the public sector (2003). She started off as a team head for planning and selection at FPS Home Affairs. She then moved to the Flemish Government where she filled various roles as head of department. Barbara Van Den Haute was appointed Head of ICT in March 2015. Managing the joint ICT service of the Flemish Government was her express area of expertise and she has been the Administrator-General at Informatie Vlaanderen since September 2017.

Informatie Vlaanderen is the interchange for data distribution of the Flemish Government and thus supports digitalization within and around Flanders. The organization produces authentic sources for the Government, utility companies and in some cases also hospitals. Think, for example, of Crossroads Bank Flanders, geographical maps or the Central Reference Address Database (CRAB). The organization also receives sensor data, including footage from ANPR cameras and anonymizes this data before transmitting it to other agencies.

As well as the above-mentioned technical matters, Informatie Vlaanderen is also the organization behind the Vlaamse Infolijn 1700 (contact centre) and handles the social media requirements  the Flemish Government. Informatie Vlaanderen is also a platform service through which other Flemish agencies can offer their websites and e-offices.

A total of more than 400 people work for the organization, with about 230 internal staff plus about 200 external profiles. These include developers, scrum masters, IT architects, product owners, business and functional analysts, as well as legal experts and privacy specialists.

Irene Veldstra
Irene Veldstra
Regional VP Benelux at Getronics

Irene Veldstra
Regional VP Benelux at Getronics

Irene Veldstra, born in the Netherlands, lives in Belgium since 14 years and relies on more than 20 years of experience in commercial positions in several European countries, Canada and the US. Throughout her career, she has distinguished herself as a strategic thinker, motivator and problem solver, able to balance a multitude of simultaneous complex tasks.

She is truly driven by transformation, with a dedication to people and business growth. She comes with a large dose of optimism, strategic focus and is resilient, driven, energetic, efficient and persistent. At Getronics she evolved quickly from sales director and ad interim CEO to Benelux CEO, reporting to the global Getronics Board. She is a team player and has guided Getronics through a challenging transformation year including many tough decisions, she balances many complex challenges simultaneously and succeeded to create a culture of transparency, of ownership and a renewed commercial team spirit.

Specific achievements include growing the margin on Getronics’ business, implementing a new significantly changed sales incentive plan in the middle of the year, improving the sales pipeline, improving the skills of her revamped sales team, guiding the Belux organization from a local business towards a global tower organization, represented Getronics in front of customers, partners, suppliers, investors and lenders.

In 2013, she joined Getronics for the first time and played a key role in winning international projects. After a stop at another employer, she returned home to Getronics in 2017, where she became Sales Director and interim CEO for the Benelux region and ever since February 2018 full-time CEO and Sales Director. Getronics is a global ICT integrator with an extensive history that extends over 130 years and is nowadays majority owned by Bottega InvestCo.

She retains a relentless focus on the long term strategic vision of the Getronics group and sponsors a global sales excellence program. In addition, she uses her background and experiences to motivate women in ICT and she proactively reaches out to support anybody that she can be a coach and inspiration to. And at home, of course, she is also Superwoman to her husband and two children.

Karen Boers
CEO at BeCode and co-founder of startups.be

Karen is a serial social impact entrepreneur. She has co-founded and managed both Startups.be and the European Startup Network. The European Startup Network is unifying national startup associations to create a common voice for European startups so that more can start, scale and succeed in the EU. Startups.be is the one-stop-shop for Belgian tech entrepreneurs with a global ambition. The organization helps them by providing easy and qualitative access to investors, customers and experts. As a non-profit organisation, Startups.be connects the dots in the tech ecosystem and acts like the voice of the startups in Belgium. Since its foundation in 2013, Startups.be has quickly grown to represent more than 1500 startups, and over 120 Belgian organisations working for entrepreneurs. Karen only recently decided to leave StartUps.be because she would like to take the time to fully focus on the BeCode and take it to a next level.

Karen’s most recent venture, the disruptive coding school BeCode, allows adults to retrain into skilled web developers no matter what their background or (lack of) degree & experience. Combining skills development and a social inclusion angle ensure that people who have been put aside all their lives will now be able to fill the gaps in the fast growing digital job market. With 200 graduates and 6 campuses up and running within 2 years, the social enterprise has proven to be highly scalable through the combination of a social mission and a startup approach.
Karen has about 15 years of extensive experience in community development as well as design and implementation of large marketing campaigns (including conferences and mass events). She has headed the marketing team at iMinds (formerly IBBT, nowadays called imec) for eight years, putting the software innovation institute on the European map and on the radar of many innovation actors across the world. Karen Boers is married and has five children at home.

Laurence Janssens
Country Manager Southern Africa at Microsoft

In April 2017, Laurence Janssens and her family moved from Brussels to Sub Sahara Africa, where she became Microsoft’s country manager for the Southern African region covering Angola, Botswana, Namibia and Zambia. She is part of the leadership team of Microsoft that manages 65 countries across Africa & the Levant region – from Southern Africa to Pakistan.

On a daily basis, Laurence and her local teams are supporting the digital transformation of key economic actors of Angola and Botswana in Mining, Oil and Gas, and Financial Services. It is a thrilling place to be as recent advances in areas of AI, mobile and cloud technologies allow organisations in Africa to leapfrog into the 21st century and create local opportunities for their young and vibrant populations.

Besides her commercial role, Laurence is also actively involved in inclusion, employment and digital education projects in the region. Over the last months, she and her team have been particularly active in Botswana, working jointly with the Botswana Innovation Hub and Microsoft 4Afrika in the launch of the first app factory in Botswana. Its aim is to improve youth employability by bridging the skills gap for graduates. AppFactory apprentices can spend up to six months working on real-world projects with senior software engineers. At the end of each internship, graduates are able to fully design, implement and deploy cloud-enabled, mobile solutions. Typically 85% of apprentices secure full-time employment within three months of graduating. Microsoft 4Afrika currently has 18 AppFactories across Africa and to date, 1,400 apprentices have graduated across the continent.

Laurence Janssens joined Microsoft at the beginning of 2015 as Public Sector Lead for Belgium. In this role she has assisted many ministries and international institutions in their digital and modernization journey over the last years. She was also board member of Microsoft’s Innovation Centers in Belgium (MIC).

She is a BAEF fellow, holds an MBA from the Chicago Booth school of business and a commercial engineer master degree from the KUL (Leuven). She is a member of Women on Board and has had the chance to participate in the mentoring program of Guberna.
Laurence Janssens holds both Belgian and Swiss citizenship, is married to a US citizen, and has 3 teenage boys.

Heidi Rakels
Founder and CEO at GuardSquare

In a previous life, Heidi Rakels was known among the wider public as a medal-winning judoka: a great sporting career, which she ended once and for all in 2004. Heidi has since then been working in the ICT sector. This may have been a surprise for the outside world, but not for her. “I was obsessed with sports as a young girl, but I also liked maths. I’m glad that I became a civil engineer in computer sciences parallel to my sports career,” she now says. When she said farewell to the judo world at 36, Heidi wanted to go into programing. “I really wanted to become a software engineer. The funny thing is that I was being approached time and again to go into sales or to become a project leader, but programing was what I really wanted to do, and so I did it for about 10 years, among others for Proximus and Eurocontrol,” says the now 50-year-old Heidi Rakels.

A successful open source project by her partner however stimulated her sense of business. “We decided to set up a commercial business in security, as we noticed a high demand and could not respond to it via the open source project. We set up GuardSquare in 2014 when our first version was ready.” We were looking at an international target public from the outset. We had a major bank as a client within one week, and half of GuardSquare’s clients are still in the banking sector.

The business meanwhile employs some 40 workers of 12 different nationalities. Sales take place from Leuven. The business does not publish concrete sales figures but this year, it won the fifth edition of Deloitte’s Technology Fast 500, making it the fastest growing technology business of the year. “We are very proud of this, as we have never needed money and are very profitable. We have remained conservative up until now, but this year we are going all-in. Yet we will still not need much money, unless we carry out some takeovers. We produce and sell our software in a very efficient manner.”

Heidi Rakels wants to reach the 100 million dollar-threshold in sales within the next five years. “If you stay small as a product supplier, you will be swallowed up. You have to be ambitious.”

Why should you vote for Heidi? “Because I am the proof that a woman can do it. I studied computer sciences, I program and I own a start-up company. I am permanently in a man’s world and I do not understand why so few women choose this career path. Because women get fewer chances? I do not believe that. It’s just not an obvious choice, because too few women make it.”

Barbara Van Den Haute
Administrator-General at Informatie Vlaanderen

Barbara Van Den Haute has been the Administrator-General at Informatie Vlaanderen since
September 2017 and focuses on two key issues: “no wrong door” and “API first”. The aim of this is to ensure that citizens, businesses and associations can get the information they need from the government easily and preferably via any means possible. The final aim is one citizen’s profile containing all the information that the Government has on you so you do not need to enter or request this each time yourself. “There was often the tendency up to now to set up a separate service and e-office, which only held the information for that service”, says Barbara Van Den Haute. “That leads to a stop-and-go experience for many citizens. This is why we created ‘Mijn Burgerprofiel’ [My Citizen’s profile], a plugin that we provide for all government bodies, also federal and local.”

Barbara has a master’s degree in political sciences from KU Leuven and specialized at VUB in international and European law. She initially started her career in the private sector at AXA and Technitemps but quickly opted for the public sector (2003). She started off as a team head for planning and selection at FPS Home Affairs. She then moved to the Flemish Government where she filled various roles as head of department. Barbara Van Den Haute was appointed Head of ICT in March 2015. Managing the joint ICT service of the Flemish Government was her express area of expertise and she has been the Administrator-General at Informatie Vlaanderen since September 2017.

Informatie Vlaanderen is the interchange for data distribution of the Flemish Government and thus supports digitalization within and around Flanders. The organization produces authentic sources for the Government, utility companies and in some cases also hospitals. Think, for example, of Crossroads Bank Flanders, geographical maps or the Central Reference Address Database (CRAB). The organization also receives sensor data, including footage from ANPR cameras and anonymizes this data before transmitting it to other agencies.

As well as the above-mentioned technical matters, Informatie Vlaanderen is also the organization behind the Vlaamse Infolijn 1700 (contact centre) and handles the social media requirements  the Flemish Government. Informatie Vlaanderen is also a platform service through which other Flemish agencies can offer their websites and e-offices.

A total of more than 400 people work for the organization, with about 230 internal staff plus about 200 external profiles. These include developers, scrum masters, IT architects, product owners, business and functional analysts, as well as legal experts and privacy specialists.

Irene Veldstra
Regional VP Benelux at Getronics

Irene Veldstra, born in the Netherlands, lives in Belgium since 14 years and relies on more than 20 years of experience in commercial positions in several European countries, Canada and the US. Throughout her career, she has distinguished herself as a strategic thinker, motivator and problem solver, able to balance a multitude of simultaneous complex tasks.

She is truly driven by transformation, with a dedication to people and business growth. She comes with a large dose of optimism, strategic focus and is resilient, driven, energetic, efficient and persistent. At Getronics she evolved quickly from sales director and ad interim CEO to Benelux CEO, reporting to the global Getronics Board. She is a team player and has guided Getronics through a challenging transformation year including many tough decisions, she balances many complex challenges simultaneously and succeeded to create a culture of transparency, of ownership and a renewed commercial team spirit.

Specific achievements include growing the margin on Getronics’ business, implementing a new significantly changed sales incentive plan in the middle of the year, improving the sales pipeline, improving the skills of her revamped sales team, guiding the Belux organization from a local business towards a global tower organization, represented Getronics in front of customers, partners, suppliers, investors and lenders.

In 2013, she joined Getronics for the first time and played a key role in winning international projects. After a stop at another employer, she returned home to Getronics in 2017, where she became Sales Director and interim CEO for the Benelux region and ever since February 2018 full-time CEO and Sales Director. Getronics is a global ICT integrator with an extensive history that extends over 130 years and is nowadays majority owned by Bottega InvestCo.

She retains a relentless focus on the long term strategic vision of the Getronics group and sponsors a global sales excellence program. In addition, she uses her background and experiences to motivate women in ICT and she proactively reaches out to support anybody that she can be a coach and inspiration to. And at home, of course, she is also Superwoman to her husband and two children.

Young ICT Lady of the Year 2019

The jury has selected the nominees. Vote now for your favourite Young ICT Lady of the Year.
The top 5 will have the chance to present themselves to the jury on February 4th.

Anastasia Dema
Anastasia Dema
Functional Analyst, MediaGeniX NG

Anastasia Dema
Functional Analyst, MediaGeniX NG

Anastasia Dema (1992) is living proof of the growing importance of non-ICT people in the information technology business. Indeed, her background is in Economics and Business Information management, with degrees from the university of Piraeus and of KU Leuven. In the past couple of years, however, she became fully immersed in an ICT company, in the niche world of media and broadcasting.

As an analyst, she learned how to translate business needs into technical software specifications, profiting from strong soft skills. “I consider it very important to speak the same language of my colleagues and clients,” for an easy and productive communication. For Anastasia Dema, language always has played an important role, considering her Greek and Albanian roots, resulting in knowledge of Greek, Albanian, English and Dutch. This background has helped her to bridge diverse fields of professional interest in her career.

Actually, ‘bridging’ was already an early interest of Anastasia Dema. While a student, she was an AIESEC exchange administrator, facilitating the international exchange of university students. ‘Early’ is also applicable to her efforts supporting the ambitions of women. In 2010 she received an excellence award by the local ‘Women without borders’ committee in her region (Kos Island). She would like to join the ‘SheLovesToCode’ movement, in order to raise awareness among women regarding opportunities in the ICT world. By speaking up, spreading awareness about new opportunities, as well as living the right example and working hard, Anastasia Dema wants to encourage women to enter the world of ICT and to boost their careers.
And beyond her career? “In my free time I draw and also play the guitar, as I feel that makes me more creative and more passionate in my everyday work.”

CÚcile Janet
Cécile Janet
Business consultant, CGI

Cécile Janet
Business consultant, CGI

Cécile Janet (1988) is another example of non-ICT people flourishing in an information technology world. With a business administration and marketing background, Cécile Janet started out working in sales and marketing at an ICT company. That led to a growing interest in information technology (as e.g. VoIP) and a career in ICT consultancy. Along the way, Cécile Janet earned several certifications (including Prince2, Itil).

Today, Cécile Janet deploys her expertise to the advantage of the European Parliament (EP). Even more, “I have a holistic view of the European Parliament IT landscape, tracking its continuous need to adapt and advising on its future evolution.” For this, she co-designed a technology investment methodology, for managing the ICT application portfolio. “I produced the EP Technology Clock, helping to track the obsolescence of all ICT assets,” based on the Gartner IT Market Clock. Everybody, from ICT specialists up to the management level, uses this tool in order to prioritize ICT investments and the needs in the Service Catalogue. The IT units provide input to evaluate the assets’ maturity, based on their market life as defined by the European Parliament. Implemented in 2018, the tool helped preparing the 2019 IT budget. Furthermore, it helps to improve the communication between IT staff and decision makers when defining which investment/divestment strategies to apply.

As a millennial, Cécile Janet has seen the importance of technology in everybody’s life grow. Building on her EP Technology clock expertise and with her being part of a technology advisory group at CGI, she wants to boost her career in the fields of governance, risk analysis and audit. But even more, Cécile Janet wants to enhance the credibility of women in general and in the ICT world in particular, by raising her profile and proving her value in drafting IT strategy roadmaps. It is a matter of “closing the visibility gap”, as a living evidence of women’s capabilities in the ICT world.

Fien Keijzer
Fien Keijzer
Cloud Manager Belux, Tech Data

Fien Keijzer
Cloud Manager Belux, Tech Data

Tech Data is a worldwide leading distributor of ICT products, with roots going back to 1974 (with supplies for mini and mainframe computers). In the nineteen eighties, the company switched to the distribution of personal computer products, and ‘the rest is history’. It is ‘history’ to the extent that for many people, Tech Data is still equated with a traditional business of ‘moving boxes’ filled with physical products, be them hardware or software. So it may be somewhat of a surprise that today, Tech Data is heavily involved in the cloud, in a shift from physical logistics to (even more of) a value added service company. As an example, today Microsoft totally relies on Tech Data for its cloud distribution (including Azure). Indeed, cloud business is a major part of Tech Data’s revenue.

Why this company story? Because this shift to the cloud is to no small degree the result of Fien Keijzer’s persistent belief in the opportunities of the cloud. She was the first person within Tech Data to realize the importance of the cloud in the field of distribution and managed to convince higher management to invest in this development. An accomplishment described as ‘not an easy task’. Furthermore, she stubbornly kept working on this until the initially small business numbers morphed into big business.

In the same way, Fien Keijzer persists in advocating gender diversity, with particular interest in promoting opportunities for women in the ICT world. She is one of the driving forces behind the Women in Technology network in Belgium and Luxembourg, being its financial responsible.

For Fien Keijzer, women advocacy is not an ambition; it’s a proven track record.

Charlotte-Emilie Loeckx
Charlotte-Emilie Loeckx
Business Development Manager Data Center, Dimension Data

Charlotte-Emilie Loeckx
Business Development Manager Data Center, Dimension Data

Charlotte-Emilie Loeckx is an interesting ‘power house’. In her first job at a major ICT infrastructure vendor, she was recognized as the best achiever sales talent after six months, which she followed up by quadrupling sales results in her job as inside sales. Good for an ‘account manager of the year 2012’ award and being a ‘president’s club invitee’ twice (because of >100+% results growth). Not bad for a master in sociology (KU Leuven), starting in ICT with no ICT background… In the following years, she grew even further in her job, before deciding to go for something new, immersing herself in the cloud. Followed by a switch to Dimension Data and the world of data centers. She is a self-made women; ‘has an amazing drive and enthusiasm’; has a ‘strong character’; ‘with a passion to go the extra mile’; is a ‘special millennial’, and is not afraid to ask for help... And probably these are all understatements.

Charlotte-Emilie Loeckx’ drive in advocating women and diversity in ICT has a similar intensity. She makes a difference by being truly different. Indeed, being different is a second nature to her. As a kid, she was diagnosed with several learning disabilities, so for her being different was the norm. Yet she surmounted these disabilities. Today, as ‘young ICT lady’ she would advocate being different, because ‘different is not bad’. It is not about being a women or a man in ICT, but about young people being themselves and having confidence. Being different “does not limit you in achieving your goals.” Even if perhaps you don’t know what your goals will be in 10 years time, as is the case for Charlotte-Emilie Loeckx. Perhaps that will be a management job, but in that case “a manager with integrity, who cares about people, with always an eye on the human side.”

At Dimension Data, she is seen as a perfect ambassador for the company and ‘a role model for other women in the ICT business.’

Anastasia Dema
Functional Analyst, MediaGeniX NG

Anastasia Dema (1992) is living proof of the growing importance of non-ICT people in the information technology business. Indeed, her background is in Economics and Business Information management, with degrees from the university of Piraeus and of KU Leuven. In the past couple of years, however, she became fully immersed in an ICT company, in the niche world of media and broadcasting.

As an analyst, she learned how to translate business needs into technical software specifications, profiting from strong soft skills. “I consider it very important to speak the same language of my colleagues and clients,” for an easy and productive communication. For Anastasia Dema, language always has played an important role, considering her Greek and Albanian roots, resulting in knowledge of Greek, Albanian, English and Dutch. This background has helped her to bridge diverse fields of professional interest in her career.

Actually, ‘bridging’ was already an early interest of Anastasia Dema. While a student, she was an AIESEC exchange administrator, facilitating the international exchange of university students. ‘Early’ is also applicable to her efforts supporting the ambitions of women. In 2010 she received an excellence award by the local ‘Women without borders’ committee in her region (Kos Island). She would like to join the ‘SheLovesToCode’ movement, in order to raise awareness among women regarding opportunities in the ICT world. By speaking up, spreading awareness about new opportunities, as well as living the right example and working hard, Anastasia Dema wants to encourage women to enter the world of ICT and to boost their careers.
And beyond her career? “In my free time I draw and also play the guitar, as I feel that makes me more creative and more passionate in my everyday work.”

Cécile Janet
Business consultant, CGI

Cécile Janet (1988) is another example of non-ICT people flourishing in an information technology world. With a business administration and marketing background, Cécile Janet started out working in sales and marketing at an ICT company. That led to a growing interest in information technology (as e.g. VoIP) and a career in ICT consultancy. Along the way, Cécile Janet earned several certifications (including Prince2, Itil).

Today, Cécile Janet deploys her expertise to the advantage of the European Parliament (EP). Even more, “I have a holistic view of the European Parliament IT landscape, tracking its continuous need to adapt and advising on its future evolution.” For this, she co-designed a technology investment methodology, for managing the ICT application portfolio. “I produced the EP Technology Clock, helping to track the obsolescence of all ICT assets,” based on the Gartner IT Market Clock. Everybody, from ICT specialists up to the management level, uses this tool in order to prioritize ICT investments and the needs in the Service Catalogue. The IT units provide input to evaluate the assets’ maturity, based on their market life as defined by the European Parliament. Implemented in 2018, the tool helped preparing the 2019 IT budget. Furthermore, it helps to improve the communication between IT staff and decision makers when defining which investment/divestment strategies to apply.

As a millennial, Cécile Janet has seen the importance of technology in everybody’s life grow. Building on her EP Technology clock expertise and with her being part of a technology advisory group at CGI, she wants to boost her career in the fields of governance, risk analysis and audit. But even more, Cécile Janet wants to enhance the credibility of women in general and in the ICT world in particular, by raising her profile and proving her value in drafting IT strategy roadmaps. It is a matter of “closing the visibility gap”, as a living evidence of women’s capabilities in the ICT world.

Blanche Jonas
BCC Telecom Engineer & Technology Innovation Officer, Infrabel

Infrabel – the operator of the Belgian railway infrastructure – is the embodiment of the proverbial engineering company. Known for its electromechanical, electronic and digital prowess, it remains – solid efforts notwithstanding – yet a ‘strongly masculine environment’ (as they phrase it themselves). Though not if it’s up to Blanche Jonas (1993), whose career is making strong headway, barely one year and a half after joining Infrabel.

With a double master degree – civil engineering (electricity & telecom) at UCL and telecom engineering at Karlsruher Institut für Technology- under her belt, she started at Infrabel managing the GSM-R network. Swiftly, she was invited to join the BCC Telecom team, helping develop Infrabel’s telecom strategy and innovation projects. Here she focused her analytics capabilities and creativity on two projects: applying machine learning techniques to create a impact simulator regarding the radio coverage of the GSM-R network and developing a scanner based on software defined radio components. The latter development will be the subject of a European project, with Blanche Jonas as Infrabel’s representative on the working group. Through her efforts, the GSM-R network will support even better the ETCS system, core of the railway’s safety system.

And these are not the limits of Blanche Jonas. She was member of Infrabel’s Hack Belgium 2018 team, and defined the architecture of Infrabel’s future CyberSOC. Even more, in 2018 she proposed the establishment of an ‘Innovation Garage’, a place where young and older experience can mix! And yes, she also actively participates in the Trainership ICT, to help new people – particularly women – integrate in the Infrabel community.

Her ambition? To show that through an open mind and curiosity you can become fast a real contributor to your company, and to help young women colleagues find a balance between their personality and their ambitions, e.g. by being outspoken about their ideas!

A life beyond Infrabel? Blanche Jonas has been a leader of scout cubs, and at one time followed a workshop on cabinet making.

Fien Keijzer
Cloud Manager Belux, Tech Data

Tech Data is a worldwide leading distributor of ICT products, with roots going back to 1974 (with supplies for mini and mainframe computers). In the nineteen eighties, the company switched to the distribution of personal computer products, and ‘the rest is history’. It is ‘history’ to the extent that for many people, Tech Data is still equated with a traditional business of ‘moving boxes’ filled with physical products, be them hardware or software. So it may be somewhat of a surprise that today, Tech Data is heavily involved in the cloud, in a shift from physical logistics to (even more of) a value added service company. As an example, today Microsoft totally relies on Tech Data for its cloud distribution (including Azure). Indeed, cloud business is a major part of Tech Data’s revenue.

Why this company story? Because this shift to the cloud is to no small degree the result of Fien Keijzer’s persistent belief in the opportunities of the cloud. She was the first person within Tech Data to realize the importance of the cloud in the field of distribution and managed to convince higher management to invest in this development. An accomplishment described as ‘not an easy task’. Furthermore, she stubbornly kept working on this until the initially small business numbers morphed into big business.

In the same way, Fien Keijzer persists in advocating gender diversity, with particular interest in promoting opportunities for women in the ICT world. She is one of the driving forces behind the Women in Technology network in Belgium and Luxembourg, being its financial responsible.

For Fien Keijzer, women advocacy is not an ambition; it’s a proven track record.

Charlotte-Emilie Loeckx
Business Development Manager Data Center, Dimension Data

Charlotte-Emilie Loeckx is an interesting ‘power house’. In her first job at a major ICT infrastructure vendor, she was recognized as the best achiever sales talent after six months, which she followed up by quadrupling sales results in her job as inside sales. Good for an ‘account manager of the year 2012’ award and being a ‘president’s club invitee’ twice (because of >100+% results growth). Not bad for a master in sociology (KU Leuven), starting in ICT with no ICT background… In the following years, she grew even further in her job, before deciding to go for something new, immersing herself in the cloud. Followed by a switch to Dimension Data and the world of data centers. She is a self-made women; ‘has an amazing drive and enthusiasm’; has a ‘strong character’; ‘with a passion to go the extra mile’; is a ‘special millennial’, and is not afraid to ask for help... And probably these are all understatements.

Charlotte-Emilie Loeckx’ drive in advocating women and diversity in ICT has a similar intensity. She makes a difference by being truly different. Indeed, being different is a second nature to her. As a kid, she was diagnosed with several learning disabilities, so for her being different was the norm. Yet she surmounted these disabilities. Today, as ‘young ICT lady’ she would advocate being different, because ‘different is not bad’. It is not about being a women or a man in ICT, but about young people being themselves and having confidence. Being different “does not limit you in achieving your goals.” Even if perhaps you don’t know what your goals will be in 10 years time, as is the case for Charlotte-Emilie Loeckx. Perhaps that will be a management job, but in that case “a manager with integrity, who cares about people, with always an eye on the human side.”

At Dimension Data, she is seen as a perfect ambassador for the company and ‘a role model for other women in the ICT business.’

Glenda Segers
Glenda Segers
Senior SharePoint & Office 365 consultant, delaware Belux

Glenda Segers
Senior SharePoint & Office 365 consultant, delaware Belux

With a background in Applied Economic science and Information Management (KU Leuven), ICT became a particular interest for Glenda Segers (1990) during her Master studies. And from the start of her professional career, collaboration between people became a further interest, as reflected by her expertise in collaborative technologies. Here as well, collaboration leads to ‘bridging’ different worlds, between business people and ICT people in a wide variety of sectors: healthcare, government, agriculture… “Clear and open communication is a key element in this process.”

No wonder this also translates into a drive to share knowledge with people through training. This provides for easy change management, and enabling the maximum collaborative potential of people and teams in companies and organizations. She also focuses on keeping her customers up to date on technology changes and the newest opportunities offered by ICT.

However important the technology factor in collaborative environments, an even stronger focus of Glenda Segers is on the people and staying connected to people. People generate collaborative value, not the collaborative technology in use. These are people of all kinds, women as well as men. Therefore, while women are becoming less rare in the world of ICT, Glenda Segers still wants to “inspire and encourage more women to work in ICT and to prove that being good has nothing to do with gender.” This is a message that must be spread both by example as well as by lectures and presentations in schools and associations.

Furthermore, this is a message that Glenda Segers expands into the world of LGBT, as a volunteer and an advocate regarding LGBT rights. Even as a student she was active in a local youth association, creating a welcoming and safe zone for LGBT youth, because “everyone deserves the right to be him or herself.”

1
Lucy Setian
Senior Digital Services Manager, UCB

Lucy Setian
Senior Digital Services Manager, UCB

Lucy Setian (1987) is the living proof that the road to ICT can excel with the right mix of engineering, business strategy and marketing mindset.
With degrees from the Universität Karlsruhe (TH), the Technical University of Sofia, the VUB (Master of Science) and the Solvay Brussels School (MBA), Lucy built a career in the field of IT, Marketing and Innovation Strategy, and as one of the youngest innovation funding programs’ experts (European Commission).

Passionate about having a real impact in the world through customer-centric digital products and services, she started her career in Bulgaria, followed by Germany, and since 9 years - Belgium. Lucy is Armenian by origin, but feels European, and thrives in the international culture of Brussels, and UCB.

Today she is part of the global IT family of UCB, where she works to help teams achieve their goals easier and more efficient through innovative global digital services.
Lucy is what people call "creative techie". She excels in business strategy development, implementation and commercialization of digital products and services, as well as innovation and corporate strategy. According to her, there is a strong correlation between ICT as a tool of innovation, society and entrepreneurship. But ultimately, the proof of the pudding is in the delivery of value through sustainable solutions with successful outcomes for the end-users.

‘Getting always the results’, is what often her colleagues at UCB say about her. But beyond delivery and continuous improvement, what truly counts is the impact. Especially, if you can have a real positive impact on people living with chronic diseases.
She believes that women of today can achieve anything - be that a corporate IT career or the next number one innovation venture in the world. According to Lucy, women who have dedicated their career to ICT-enabled innovation have even more of a personal responsibility towards enabling change and coaching the next generation experts and leaders, such as international organizations like Girls in Tech - Armenia, or School19 enable.

Being an ICT Lady of the Year, means leading by example, and being an authentic leader with a passion. This includes showing characteristics as emotional intelligence, assertiveness, creativity, problem-solving, grit, and the ability to translate technology into a language which everybody understands. Characteristics which Lucy Setian has made efforts to develop, leading by example how women can make inroads in the ICT world, building on both hard ICT and soft people skills.

Olesia Sydenova
Olesia Sydenova
Consultant Privacy & Data Protection, Akkade NV (a Cronos Groep company)

Olesia Sydenova
Consultant Privacy & Data Protection, Akkade NV (a Cronos Groep company)

Olesia Sydenova (1992) brings an extremely interesting and even unique mix of expertise to her job. Indeed, with a background in law – master degrees of Irkutsk State University and KU Leuven – she expresses a vivid interest in all things pertaining to the legal tech-scene. Up to and including data science and even coding! With today’s increasing attention for privacy in ever more complex information environments, Olesia Sydenova has been of utmost value in defining and implementing GDPR strategies for large organizations (including Telenet and Johnson & Johnson). Her growing expertise will be an exquisite asset in years to come, as compliance with legislation is and will be an extremely dynamic sphere, in order to help provide turnkey business solutions. Indeed, Olesia Sydenova’s professional ambition is to continue expand her expertise and to share her knowledge through the activities of the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP). Not only through obtaining a further IAPP certification in the short term (going for Certified Privacy Manager), but also by contributing to the Knowledge Chapter in Belgium.

Throughout her education and professional career, Olesia Sydenova has made some far-reaching decisions, as e.g. leaving a law career in Russia to acquire specialized knowledge abroad, in Belgium. In this, she was motivated and encouraged by examples of other expats, most of them women. Today, she wants herself to be an example to ‘girls hesitating to open up new horizons and grow professionally’. She wants to break stereotypes about male or female professions, and to stress that competence and passion matter for professional growth, not gender or origin. Starting at secondary school level!

Beyond her career, Olesia Sydenova still builds on her international roots and language skills (Russian, English, French, Dutch). She is a board member at the United Nations Youth Association in Leuven and a volunteer translator at Twitter.

Dorien Van Steenberge
Dorien Van Steenberge
Technology consultant, Accenture

Dorien Van Steenberge
Technology consultant, Accenture

‘Sharing enthusiasm’ is the thread running through the career and other activities of Dorien Van Steenberge (1992), as well as sharing efforts and experiences with other people. Indeed, at Accenture, she not only manages a project combining a 20-person strong development team in India, and a 10 person strong local team. She also is a coach and jury member for the Accenture Master Class local sessions at the Vlerick Business School in Ghent, as well as facilitator of Design Thinking workshops at the Ghent University. There, she also leads the Accenture University Action Team, engaging with both students and professors. For all of this, she builds on a Master degree Business Engineering, ‘magna cum laude’ at the Ghent University.

For these accomplishments, she also learned from other people and mentors. In 2018, Dorien Van Steenberge was one of 50 young women to participate in the Orange Young Potential Boostcamp, with Annemie Depuydt (head ICTS at KU Leuven) as mentor. As a student, she was part of the team that earned an award in the PMI Belgium University Contest.

‘Sharing’ continues to be strong in Dorien Van Steenberge’s view on the activities of a Young ICT Lady of the Year. It is a matter of “growing professionally by helping others grow.” By becoming “a high performing, people centric woman leader at Accenture, with her own leadership style, who serves as a role model for others.”

Simply, with ‘leading by example’ and getting young women interested in ICT at the earliest possible age  “by sharing my enthusiasm for technology.”

Actually, sharing enthusiasm is also part of Dorien Van Steenberge in activities beyond her career. Already more than 10 years, she is a volunteer at Jeugdtip (now Krunsj), helping organize vacations for children. At Accenture, she links up with Passwerk (ICT professionals with an autism spectrum profile /ASP) and is a People Advocate (assuring the well being of Accenture colleagues). As an asthma patient herself, she prepares for an epic bike ride up the Passo dello Stelvio, as one of a team of 12 Accenture Fit At Work Ambassadors.

Sanne Vermeiren
Sanne Vermeiren
Functional Software engineer, Cegeka

Sanne Vermeiren
Functional Software engineer, Cegeka

With a Master in Business Administration (International Business Management), Sanne Vermeiren (1992) came to ICT through an intensive ICT course at the Cegeka School (set up to train people without a technical background going for a career in ICT). Joining the ‘Groeipakket’ development team at Kind & Gezin, she too was put in a ‘bridging’ role between government, legislation and ICT people.

By and large, Salle Vermeiren is already performing the tasks of a Young ICT Lady. At Cegeka itself, she organized the ‘Digital Festival’ – a one-day knowledge-sharing event for Cegeka colleagues, to learn about new technologies and trends. Furthermore, she helps setting up a tech blog and podcasts to share this expertise both in-house and with external colleagues. And she is pitching for a ‘Cegeka Young Talent Community’, to bring new colleagues fast up to speed.

The focus of Sanne Vermeiren on Women in ICT also resembles Young ICT Lady activities. Already the Young Talent Community prepares activities targeting women, including meetings with female owners of tech start-up companies and short weekend courses (including tips for people with bright ideas but lacking business knowledge). She would also like to organize a ‘tech women on tour’ event, with ICT companies opening their doors for visits by 17-18 year old girls, so they get to know the real ICT world before deciding on university or college studies.

Even more, Sanne Vermeiren works towards a better work-life balance by developing the Workli app. It provides for pick-up and processing of laundry, ironing, dry-cleaning and sundry chores, at the workplace. The app is fully managed by employees, without extra efforts from the companies. One of Sanne Vermeiren’s near future intentions is further development of the Workli app, freeing up time for quality activities.

Glenda Segers
Senior SharePoint & Office 365 consultant, delaware Belux

With a background in Applied Economic science and Information Management (KU Leuven), ICT became a particular interest for Glenda Segers (1990) during her Master studies. And from the start of her professional career, collaboration between people became a further interest, as reflected by her expertise in collaborative technologies. Here as well, collaboration leads to ‘bridging’ different worlds, between business people and ICT people in a wide variety of sectors: healthcare, government, agriculture… “Clear and open communication is a key element in this process.”

No wonder this also translates into a drive to share knowledge with people through training. This provides for easy change management, and enabling the maximum collaborative potential of people and teams in companies and organizations. She also focuses on keeping her customers up to date on technology changes and the newest opportunities offered by ICT.

However important the technology factor in collaborative environments, an even stronger focus of Glenda Segers is on the people and staying connected to people. People generate collaborative value, not the collaborative technology in use. These are people of all kinds, women as well as men. Therefore, while women are becoming less rare in the world of ICT, Glenda Segers still wants to “inspire and encourage more women to work in ICT and to prove that being good has nothing to do with gender.” This is a message that must be spread both by example as well as by lectures and presentations in schools and associations.

Furthermore, this is a message that Glenda Segers expands into the world of LGBT, as a volunteer and an advocate regarding LGBT rights. Even as a student she was active in a local youth association, creating a welcoming and safe zone for LGBT youth, because “everyone deserves the right to be him or herself.”

Lucy Setian
Senior Digital Services Manager, UCB

Lucy Setian (1987) is the living proof that the road to ICT can excel with the right mix of engineering, business strategy and marketing mindset.
With degrees from the Universität Karlsruhe (TH), the Technical University of Sofia, the VUB (Master of Science) and the Solvay Brussels School (MBA), Lucy built a career in the field of IT, Marketing and Innovation Strategy, and as one of the youngest innovation funding programs’ experts (European Commission).

Passionate about having a real impact in the world through customer-centric digital products and services, she started her career in Bulgaria, followed by Germany, and since 9 years - Belgium. Lucy is Armenian by origin, but feels European, and thrives in the international culture of Brussels, and UCB.

Today she is part of the global IT family of UCB, where she works to help teams achieve their goals easier and more efficient through innovative global digital services.
Lucy is what people call "creative techie". She excels in business strategy development, implementation and commercialization of digital products and services, as well as innovation and corporate strategy. According to her, there is a strong correlation between ICT as a tool of innovation, society and entrepreneurship. But ultimately, the proof of the pudding is in the delivery of value through sustainable solutions with successful outcomes for the end-users.

‘Getting always the results’, is what often her colleagues at UCB say about her. But beyond delivery and continuous improvement, what truly counts is the impact. Especially, if you can have a real positive impact on people living with chronic diseases.
She believes that women of today can achieve anything - be that a corporate IT career or the next number one innovation venture in the world. According to Lucy, women who have dedicated their career to ICT-enabled innovation have even more of a personal responsibility towards enabling change and coaching the next generation experts and leaders, such as international organizations like Girls in Tech - Armenia, or School19 enable.

Being an ICT Lady of the Year, means leading by example, and being an authentic leader with a passion. This includes showing characteristics as emotional intelligence, assertiveness, creativity, problem-solving, grit, and the ability to translate technology into a language which everybody understands. Characteristics which Lucy Setian has made efforts to develop, leading by example how women can make inroads in the ICT world, building on both hard ICT and soft people skills.

Olesia Sydenova
Consultant Privacy & Data Protection, Akkade NV (a Cronos Groep company)

Olesia Sydenova (1992) brings an extremely interesting and even unique mix of expertise to her job. Indeed, with a background in law – master degrees of Irkutsk State University and KU Leuven – she expresses a vivid interest in all things pertaining to the legal tech-scene. Up to and including data science and even coding! With today’s increasing attention for privacy in ever more complex information environments, Olesia Sydenova has been of utmost value in defining and implementing GDPR strategies for large organizations (including Telenet and Johnson & Johnson). Her growing expertise will be an exquisite asset in years to come, as compliance with legislation is and will be an extremely dynamic sphere, in order to help provide turnkey business solutions. Indeed, Olesia Sydenova’s professional ambition is to continue expand her expertise and to share her knowledge through the activities of the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP). Not only through obtaining a further IAPP certification in the short term (going for Certified Privacy Manager), but also by contributing to the Knowledge Chapter in Belgium.

Throughout her education and professional career, Olesia Sydenova has made some far-reaching decisions, as e.g. leaving a law career in Russia to acquire specialized knowledge abroad, in Belgium. In this, she was motivated and encouraged by examples of other expats, most of them women. Today, she wants herself to be an example to ‘girls hesitating to open up new horizons and grow professionally’. She wants to break stereotypes about male or female professions, and to stress that competence and passion matter for professional growth, not gender or origin. Starting at secondary school level!

Beyond her career, Olesia Sydenova still builds on her international roots and language skills (Russian, English, French, Dutch). She is a board member at the United Nations Youth Association in Leuven and a volunteer translator at Twitter.

Dorien Van Steenberge
Technology consultant, Accenture

‘Sharing enthusiasm’ is the thread running through the career and other activities of Dorien Van Steenberge (1992), as well as sharing efforts and experiences with other people. Indeed, at Accenture, she not only manages a project combining a 20-person strong development team in India, and a 10 person strong local team. She also is a coach and jury member for the Accenture Master Class local sessions at the Vlerick Business School in Ghent, as well as facilitator of Design Thinking workshops at the Ghent University. There, she also leads the Accenture University Action Team, engaging with both students and professors. For all of this, she builds on a Master degree Business Engineering, ‘magna cum laude’ at the Ghent University.

For these accomplishments, she also learned from other people and mentors. In 2018, Dorien Van Steenberge was one of 50 young women to participate in the Orange Young Potential Boostcamp, with Annemie Depuydt (head ICTS at KU Leuven) as mentor. As a student, she was part of the team that earned an award in the PMI Belgium University Contest.

‘Sharing’ continues to be strong in Dorien Van Steenberge’s view on the activities of a Young ICT Lady of the Year. It is a matter of “growing professionally by helping others grow.” By becoming “a high performing, people centric woman leader at Accenture, with her own leadership style, who serves as a role model for others.”

Simply, with ‘leading by example’ and getting young women interested in ICT at the earliest possible age  “by sharing my enthusiasm for technology.”

Actually, sharing enthusiasm is also part of Dorien Van Steenberge in activities beyond her career. Already more than 10 years, she is a volunteer at Jeugdtip (now Krunsj), helping organize vacations for children. At Accenture, she links up with Passwerk (ICT professionals with an autism spectrum profile /ASP) and is a People Advocate (assuring the well being of Accenture colleagues). As an asthma patient herself, she prepares for an epic bike ride up the Passo dello Stelvio, as one of a team of 12 Accenture Fit At Work Ambassadors.

Sanne Vermeiren
Functional Software engineer, Cegeka

With a Master in Business Administration (International Business Management), Sanne Vermeiren (1992) came to ICT through an intensive ICT course at the Cegeka School (set up to train people without a technical background going for a career in ICT). Joining the ‘Groeipakket’ development team at Kind & Gezin, she too was put in a ‘bridging’ role between government, legislation and ICT people.

By and large, Salle Vermeiren is already performing the tasks of a Young ICT Lady. At Cegeka itself, she organized the ‘Digital Festival’ – a one-day knowledge-sharing event for Cegeka colleagues, to learn about new technologies and trends. Furthermore, she helps setting up a tech blog and podcasts to share this expertise both in-house and with external colleagues. And she is pitching for a ‘Cegeka Young Talent Community’, to bring new colleagues fast up to speed.

The focus of Sanne Vermeiren on Women in ICT also resembles Young ICT Lady activities. Already the Young Talent Community prepares activities targeting women, including meetings with female owners of tech start-up companies and short weekend courses (including tips for people with bright ideas but lacking business knowledge). She would also like to organize a ‘tech women on tour’ event, with ICT companies opening their doors for visits by 17-18 year old girls, so they get to know the real ICT world before deciding on university or college studies.

Even more, Sanne Vermeiren works towards a better work-life balance by developing the Workli app. It provides for pick-up and processing of laundry, ironing, dry-cleaning and sundry chores, at the workplace. The app is fully managed by employees, without extra efforts from the companies. One of Sanne Vermeiren’s near future intentions is further development of the Workli app, freeing up time for quality activities.

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