It’s a man’s world – But not at ICT Group!

It’s a man’s world – But not at ICT Group!

  • 24 July 2019
  • 3 minutes

Meet Claudia van Batenburg, Business Development Manager at Raster, an industrial system integrator within the ICT Group. She received a cum laude degree in Energy Technology back in the days when there were very little female role models in technology. “Much has changed since then,” Van Batenburg says, “I see more women having meaningful and rewarding careers in technology when I visit our clients, and also here at ICT Group.”

Safety training

Raster is an industrial production and process integrator, specialised in safety. Many of the Raster projects are for offshore petrochemical platforms, installations for heavy lifting, or on ships. “Raster has engineers working on offshore projects on a regular basis. We tend to divide these projects among the team, some are more eager to get on that helicopter than others. In any case, engineers have to be equipped to do offshore work, therefore a safety training, among others, is mandatory.” When Van Batenburg did her safety training at the start of her career as an engineer, offshore work was not geared towards women at all. “The survival suits at the safety training were one-size-fits-all-men,” she says laughing. “The seals around the neck and limbs did not fit me. At last, I found one suit that wasn’t worn out and could keep me dry, so I jumped off the tower. But still, the suit was so oversized that when I hit the water, the air went to my feet and they came up first. If I hadn’t worn a lifejacket, I would’ve had to be rescued upside down from the water. Must have been extremely funny to watch from the side.”

A business development

When Van Batenburg came to Raster, she helped the company to enlarge the reputation in automation of operational safety for big industry. Raster supports and stands for operational safety through the integration of electronical systems and automated procedures. “As a Business Development Manager, it is my role to identify new clients and new markets. Together with my colleagues, I work on subjects like modernisation and security. Ever since the Ukraine power grid hack, Raster has been expanding its service area to cyber security in addition to operational safety. The risks are gravely underestimated in the markets, it’s quite a challenge to create awareness about cyber security. In the physical world, Ukraine is far away, but in the digital world there are no boundaries.” Another focus for Claudia besides safety is the transformation from DCS (Distributed Control System) to hybrid DCS, therewith rendering the client more freedom of choice with regard to PLCs, SCADA and service contracts. “Hybrid DCS can save our clients money and create more operational flexibility while we modernise their automated operations.”

“Everywhere I go, I see more female operators, mechanics and engineers.”

Women in technology

It’s becoming more and more common for women to work in technology. Raster is being led, for example, by Ethel van Groenestijn, and the key account manager is also a woman, Maaike Nieuwenhuis. “I’ve seen things change overtime. At one point, working as an engineer, I was denied access to an offshore platform because they couldn’t spare me a separate bed during the 3-day shutdown. Later on, this was avoided by placing a TLQ on deck, a Temporary Living Quarter which is a refurbished sea container with a bed, a private bathroom and the most amazing ocean view. Everywhere I go, I slowly see more female operators, mechanics and engineers. And while IT and High Tech may seem very much a man’s world from the outside, I can vouch for my male colleagues that they are the most pleasant co-workers anyone could ask for. In general, people working in technology are  highly educated and passionate about their work, they just want to get results and judge you on your merit. I hope one day the number of women working in High Tech will be more balanced, but I’ve always been accepted as ‘one of the guys’ and appreciated for my hard work and achievements. I’m really happy I decided not to go to Law school like my friends did at the time,” Van Batenburg concludes. At ICT Group we are eager to welcome more female colleagues in our midst.

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