Skye van Megen (33) is a service technician. She may be small in stature, but she’s not easily put off by the men’s world where she works. “I hope that if a girl wants to become a plumber later on, she can do so. Without all the drama I’ve been through.”
She was the first girl in class and school. In fact, she was the very first woman to ever take a technical course there. That may sound like a great honor, but for Skye it was tough. “I was often bullied and had few friends. I was the only girl. The teachers didn’t know what to do with me either.” In addition, Skye was born in Ireland and sometimes had difficulties with the language. She often felt lonely. Still, she persevered. “Fortunately, I don’t let myself be knocked out of the field.”
Employers are afraid that you will get pregnant. In my profession, this can mean that you are temporarily unable to do your job
Without looks or blushing
The tough time during her education was a harbinger of what was to come. Finding a job was difficult and when she was hired, her colleagues did not take her seriously. “As a woman you have to prove yourself more. Moreover, employers are afraid that you will get pregnant. In my profession, that can mean that you are temporarily unable to do your job.”
She is therefore asked inappropriately about her desire to have children. “Yeah, weird isn’t it? They just ask, without batting an eyelid. And the question: ‘Are you also going to work part-time?’ will follow up immediately.”
It really wasn’t made easy for Skye. She hopped past various employers, although she was mainly hired for the diversity in the workplace. “The company can then show off with that. But in the end they wanted me quietly in a corner. It can be very lonely that your colleagues don’t like you. Yet it was the managers who caused the most problems.”
I have a good salary and may not have a college degree, but in our profession you have to follow continuous training and courses
In the end, she even has to deal with an aggressive manager. When she reports this to HR, they mainly look at her. “I had a really hard time with this. Unfortunately, this is the reality for many women in my sector.”
In addition to the prejudice from her previous employers, she was also treated contemptuously by customers. “People in our profession are still known as low-educated with a low salary. And then in my case there is also a woman at the door. I can tell you: that prejudice is not true. I have a good salary and may not have a college degree, but in our profession you have to follow continuous training and courses. I have already completed six full-fledged courses and I don’t know how many courses. As a technician you have to keep developing yourself.”
Text continues below the LinkedIn post.
A woman, but above all a good technician
Fortunately, it turns out okay. She ends up at Unica and is welcomed here with open arms. ,,It is my first employer that did not look at my gender and read my CV at all. They appreciate me as a person and that is really worth gold.” Skye has now been working here for over a year.
I hope I can be an influencer of sorts for other women in tech
When asked whether women are indispensable in technology, she shakes her head. “Indispensable not. It also went so long without women, but you can also ask yourself: why do women belong in technology? Because we women can do it too. Unfortunately, many women often do not see this beautiful profession as an option.” She describes that it already starts at home. That’s where we can make a difference. “Ask your daughter to help hang the shelf. Take your daughter with you when you put oil in the car. It’s a matter of getting used to.”
We can no longer be seen as exotic wildlife
Better future, without drama
That is also the reason why she shares her story on LinkedIn: inspiring other women and putting a smile on their faces for female colleagues from the profession. But she never expected her post to have such an impact.
,,I hope that I can be a kind of ‘influencer’ for other women in technology. We can no longer be seen as exotic game and make sure that if your daughter wants to become a plumber, she can. Without the drama I’ve been through. And if I have to post about my work a few times to get that done, I’m happy to do that.”
This article was created in collaboration with The Best Social Media.
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