International Women’s Day: interview with Sofie Haesevoets
Today, on International Women’s Day, we want to put a woman in the spotlight who is a main contributor to Luciad’s success. Read the interview with Luciad’s senior product manager Sofie Haesevoets.
Can you tell something about yourself?
I am Sofie Haesevoets. I started at Luciad in 2005 after obtaining my Ph.D. in applied computer science. I have a 9 year old son and a 6 year old daughter. In my free time I play the violin.
How would you describe your job? What’s the part of it you like the most?
I am a senior product manager so my job is to define the roadmap of the Luciad products. In order to achieve this, I need to understand from our customers and prospects what they need and I need to collaborate closely with the Luciad development teams. As my job title says, I am managing products and not people. I am at the crossroads of all involved parties.
The most interesting part of my job is to outline the strategy and to shape the products. The question that I always need to keep in mind is: How can we stay innovative and competitive? I find it really fascinating to see how an idea evolves into a feature.
Many Luciad employees you’re working with are men. What’s it like to work in a mainly male environment?
Here at Luciad it is a true pleasure to collaborate with so many extremely skilled people. To me it does not matter whether my coworkers are male or female.
I have had several roles within Luciad; I started as an instructor, then moved on to presales and took the next step as product manager. I have never felt that being a woman has been a reason to hold me back from growing in the company. Luciad gives opportunities to all employees regardless of their gender. Although I have a job with many responsibilities, I am able to keep a good work-life balance because Luciad offers flexible working hours.
What did you want to become when you were a child? Did you dream of becoming a product manager in a software company?
I have always admired Marie Curie and initially I wantend to study physics, but I was also interested in journalism. I was convinced to study computer science when I heard a woman explaining what her job in IT involved, that it required a combination of technical skills and communication skills.
Would you recommend your job to other women? What advice do you have for young girls?
I would definitely recommend other women to do this type of job. I have the impression that many women do not even consider jobs in IT. I invite women to look beyond the clichés, because in my experience these clichés don’t reflect reality.
On a personal level I will try to stimulate my daughter to acquire technical skills like programming.
What can we wish you for the future?
I hope I will be able to do my job for many more years because the challenges keep on evolving. No two days are the same at Luciad!
Thank you for this interview, Sofie. We wish you all the best!
Do you want to join Sofie at Luciad? Have a look at our open positions and apply today.