“ICT is a dynamic sector with a significant social impact”
Less than 15 percent of ICT workers in our country are women. The number of women pursuing ICT training in the Netherlands is also low, especially when compared to the European average. But of course they are there. This time Kim Burchchild in the Eurofiber group.
What job do you have?
Business Monitoring and Administration Group Manager
How did you end up in this position?
After studying economics at the University of Groningen, I moved to The Hague, where I was asked to come and work for a large telecom provider. At first nothing seemed to me: I thought it was a big, cumbersome and dusty company. But after talks with the recruitment agency, that picture changed. I started working there initially in a new finance department with other young professionals. In the eleven years I worked there, I learned a lot. Not only in practice: I was also able to follow a post-master’s course there. She was also able to rapidly advance to management positions in, among other things, the independent subsidiaries of that group. Then I took a trip into the healthcare sector, as a CFO in a healthcare organization. I’ve been doing this for about a year. But in the end I missed the dynamism, speed and business side of ICT and started my own business as a finance professional. This is how I ended up in Eurofiber Netherlands in 2020 as a freelance journalist. In the end, I was asked to be the CFO of Eurofiber Netherlands. Less than a year later, I was offered the position of Director of the Business Monitoring and Management Reporting Group at the parent company Eurofiber Group.
What is the best thing about your job?
That I have my foot in finances and my other foot in business. You have a helicopter view of the entire concern. As a result, I can help different departments gain new insights and help them achieve goals or improve performance. To make it more realistic: You can, for example, use analytics to help the sales department reach new market segments or serve existing customers with new services and products. What I really love about working in the ICT sector in general and Eurofiber in particular, is knowing that you work for a company that really adds something to society. Stable, fast and secure fiber optic networks such as Eurofiber are nowadays essential to the economy and society and facilitate much needed innovative developments.
It sounds cliched, but I do challenging work within a fast-growing, ambitious, resilient group that also has an eye for balancing private and business. With a senior position, you know what is required of you. But at Eurofiber it is seen that these should be transverse peaks and not a structural overburden. I also have the opportunity to choose family life in important special moments. This is well organized here.
As a woman, what do you notice about ICT as a man’s world?
Honestly, I don’t notice that much. Yes, it’s still pretty much a men’s world, but that didn’t stop me in any way. I can see that there is a tipping point: the male/female distribution is moving in the right direction. It may be too slow, but the change is definitely there. Eurofiber also looks at what you can do and what your potential is. Regardless of whether you are a man or a woman. As for the technical part, which is still often associated with “model men’s work”: she has mastered it to some extent. You don’t have to be an expert for my position, but I believe you should understand the company’s business, services, and products. To do this, I myself studied fiber optic networks and consulted colleagues. For example, I asked a colleague to give a workshop on what our network looks like and how it works. He will soon give that workshop to new employees in my department.
How do you think more women could choose a career in the technology sector?
It starts with training. More information should be provided there about the possibilities in the technology sector. It’s not about boring work, but it’s a dynamic sector that you can go into in many directions. And its social impact is very large. There is also a major role for the business community itself. When it comes to keeping women in the tech sector, I think it’s also helpful for tech companies to show that they make room for motherhood. For example, by being flexible if someone wants to attend her child’s performance at school. Basically the way Eurofiber actually does it.