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Woman of Inspiration – Jolien Schoukens

20 Dec 2021

Meet Jolien Schoukens, Senior Consultant at Capgemini Belgium. Having started her career at Capgemini in February 2016, Jolien has worked for several big clients and in different IT and technology consulting roles. She recently won the ‘Women of the Future’ award for her outstanding engagements and achievements as a true ‘woman of inspiration’. Here’s Jolien sharing her thoughts on winning the award.

Hi Jolien! Congratulations on winning the ‘Women of the Future’ award. Share your experience.
Jolien: It is an amazing honor to receive this recognition. I am very happy, and I would like to thank everyone that voted for me/believed in me. In the beginning, I was in doubt whether I should participate or not because it is not something I am used to doing, and I did not know if I would feel comfortable being in the spotlight in such a big company. But people that know me; know that if you give me some hours to think about it and get familiar with the idea; I say YES! So, I just jumped into this new challenge and gave myself 100%. I am very happy that I took on this challenge and that I’ve gained a lot of new experiences and skills. Furthermore, I am very grateful for the enormous support I received from everywhere within Capgemini. From the colleagues I coach within the DA&T department to the people I collaborate with for L&D, HR etc., and even from people I wasn’t connected with before! It is a great feeling to see all the colleagues that believed in me and who offered me the chance to step into the spotlight as a woman for the future! I am lucky to be surrounded by all these fantastic people.
At last, I want to take the occasion to congratulate the other TOP 3 nominees for the ‘BELUX Woman of Inspiration Award’ as well: Sara & Hanne. They can both be proud of their achievements, and they truly are inspiring women as well! I hope I can meet them soon!

How do you see this recognition shaping your career?
Jolien: It is a confirmation that my work approach and engagements get acknowledged by my colleagues. I am still, and will remain, the same person. I will continue investing in volunteering and doing my work for Capgemini with the same energy straight from the heart. This recognition made it possible for me to enlarge my network, to connect with other interesting consultants and people that share the same positive energetic vibes and ambitions. I truly believe that if we share our powers and strengths, we can achieve great things. All together we can be great sources of inspiration for our (younger) colleagues and clients.

Who has been your role model?
Jolien: There isn’t one person. There were mostly multiple persons in time, and they evolved and changed when I got older and moved to other phases in my life. A ‘role model’, for me, was and will always be someone with big ambitions, someone with strong beliefs and the power to make the impossible possible. Someone that can beat setbacks in life. Someone who is positive and keeps believing, even when the way to go is not the easiest nor the smoothest one. I learn a lot from these people in an indirect way and I try to pick up new knowledge and skills to use for myself when needed.

What has been your biggest challenge in life?
Jolien: I do not call it ‘big’, but it was rather a difficult challenge when I was younger to search and find my future goals. Both in my private and professional life as I did not want to focus on existing stereotypes. Sometimes my wide environment did not understand my choices. But by following my heart, studying, and working hard, surrounding myself with the right people, failing from time to time, and learning from these disappointments … I became a real go-getter and learned to be brave. I am an independent, sporty (I love kickboxing) woman working as a technology consultant and I am proud to be my unique self.

Any inspiring words for women who aspire to get this award in the future.
Jolien: Just stay authentic, be bold and work hard. Do not fear to make yourself visible by concrete achievements, remain down-to-earth, be ambitious and patient. Last and most important is to believe in yourself! It is also good to surround yourself with people that believe in you, people you can learn from, and that are sharing the same interests, positive energy, and vibes. And know that you can contact me any time if you need help or inspiration for your personal campaign!

Thank you, Jolien for this great conversation. Continue to inspire people along the way. We wish you all the best for your future endeavors.