International Girls in ICT Day aims at encouraging girls to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Capgemini strongly promotes gender balance in ICT, and always champions women in technology. To inspire more girls to choose a career in ICT and make their dream a reality, we bring to you a series of interviews of some of the most successful and prominent women employees at Capgemini Belgium, who talk about why it is important for more girls to take up careers in ICT and how we can inspire them in doing so.
We have with us today Annlore Defossez – Managing Consultant, Capgemini Belgium.
Hello Annlore! Tell us about yourself
Annlore: Hi, I’m Annlore Defossez, and I’m a Managing Consultant from Brussels in Belgium – part of Insights & Data practice. Over the last 3 years at Capgemini, I have taken up advisory and transversal roles linked to data and/or transformation. I’ve been selected in the top 5 Belgium Young ICT lady of the year 2021. I’m also actively involved with our Corporate Social Responsibility at Belgium level and a proud recepient of the FS Employee of the year B&NL award! I was recently selected as one of the 5 nominees for Young ICT Lady of the Year 2021 by the jury of Data News and She Goes ICT.
Why did you choose to pursue a career in ICT?
Annlore: Well, it wasn’t a conscious decision to choose a career in ICT, it was by accident (laughs)! But I started enjoying my career and decided not to get out of it! And why was I having so much fun in this sector? Simply because for me the ICT sector combined two very different aspects that I love and have as part of my personality. The first one is that, it is very mathematical and rational, and the second one is that, it has a lot of creativity and ‘thinking out-of-the-box’ related to it . Theses 2 aspects create a lot of flexibility and opportunities for evolution and career changes within the same sector. That apart, technology is all around us and is one of the most innovative and exciting industries. Having a career in ICT gives me the opportunity to help shape the tech industry and our common future.
How has Capgemini helped shape your career in the tech industry?
Annlore: In my tenure with Capgemini over the last 3 years, I have been incredibly lucky to have met inspiring and supportive people who help me develop myself and support my ambitions. Without their support, I would have not become the person I am today! Never did I feel less considered or given less chance or opportunity because I was a woman. My colleagues, managers, and Capgemini as an organization always supported me and offered immense opportunities along the way. ‘Master of your own destiny,’ as they say in Capgemini, is so apt! I’m always surprised and thankful for all the opportunities that I’m creating for myself or that are coming my way unexpectedly, and that’s definitely how Capgemini is helping me shape my career!
Why do you think it is important to promote technology career opportunities for girls?
Annlore: In our current society, women account for half of the population and this ratio is likely to increase. Secondly, the demand for IT professionals will not stop to grow soon. If we want our sector to keep evolving, be innovative, and keep attracting and retaining the best talents, we need to leverage the large female talent pool and encourage them to pursue careers in ICT. We need to do away with the stereotypes and biases in the ICT sector. We need to demystify the ICT sector and portray the magnitude and wideness of this sector to our future generation, especially to the young girls. We need to tell them that ICT isn’t just a man’s world and even women can have a career in this sector. Last but not the least, we should not forget our role as a technology provider. Our busines model is to create technology for everyone, but by having a predominant male population, we are continuously building products and services that are less inclusive for women, so less likely to be adopted by the overall population.
How do you think girls can be encouraged to choose a career in ICT?
Annlore: We all have a role to play in this game – at work and at home, with our relatives and our colleagues. One of the actions should be to communicate more on the ICT sector, and break the stereotypes. Additionally, we should minimize the impact of bias on us by challenging ourselves more. To help the ICT sector evolve and become more inclusive, the change needs to start with us and our mindset. We need to welcome more women. Finally, we shouldn’t underrate the importance of role models. We all have role models in our life, people we look up to and follow to realize our dreams. We need more women in the spotlight in our industry to be the pathfinder, to be followed, and to talk to, helping girls make their dream of pursuing a career in ICT come true!
Do you have kids? If so, how do you inspire them to take up careers in science and technology/ ICT?
Annlore: I don’t have kids. But when I do, I will surely inspire and motivate them to achieve what they dream. There’s nothing that can stop them!
A message that you would like to share with girls who aspire to pursue a career in ICT
Annlore: You can do it! There is nothing to be afraid of. If you fail, it will make you stronger. But if you miss the opportunity, you will regret it forever. So go for it girls!
Thanks so much Annlore! It was indeed a great conversation! Your inspiring career in ICT will motivate many others, and we wish you continued success!