Name: Lonneke Dikmans
Job Title: Managing Partner
Tell us about your role in a couple of sentences:
I am a consultant and managing partner at Vennster. I'm a certified BPMN professional who specializes in integration and SOA/BPM solutions. I have hands-on experience with process modeling, web services, service oriented architecture, and traditional J2EE applications on different platforms in a wide variety of industries. Besides acting as a solution architect and technical lead I advise companies that are setting up Service Oriented Architectures. I speak regularly at conferences in Europe and the United States and publish frequently on the internet and in magazines.
Why did you first get into IT?:
I have always been interested in IT. I started programming when I was 12: I created a basic program to support my mom who was tutoring elementary school kids in Maths (adding and subtracting). In high school my maths teachter (a man) encouraged me to chose beta subjects like Maths, Physics and Chemistry. When I went to college, the student population of computer science scared me off and I picked Cognitive Science instead. This was very different when I moved to the US: in silicon valley there were as many female as male students in the programming classes. I like the analytical challenges of IT, and the connection you have to make with the people that will use it.
What advice would you give to people, especially women looking for a role in IT?
Don't be scared off by the 'nerds' and technical image of IT. It is fun and there are very different roles you can play varying from deeply technical (networks, storage, middleware) to more functional (process design, user experience). Look for companies that have women in high positions, they tend to more 'woman friendly' in terms of fair payment etc. Public sector tends to be more sensitive to equal opportunities and have a more diverse labor force.
Have you encountered any issues with being a woman in IT?
No, in general it helps because I stand out compared to all the men in the room!
Any final comments?
IT is becoming more and more ubiquitous, I think there is not a sector where there is no IT involved. The context has a big impact, not just the role 'IT'
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