Aspiring Women 11.11.2022

Aspiring women @ Broad Horizon – Yvette van Breukelen

Yvette van Breukelen | Managing Consultant Cmotions since June 2021 | 35 years | Analytical | Motivator | Mum to be | Eager to keep learning

Yvette studied Econometrics and Management Science at Erasmus University Rotterdam. She has always had a keen interest in data analytics and the tech industry in general, so it’s not surprising she is now working in this captivating environment. She first started working for Cmotions as a consultant in 2013, and after having worked for another company and traveling around the world for a year, she knew that she wanted to return to the company where she had always felt a good connection. In 2018 Yvette started working at Cmotions as Junior Consultant to soon become a Senior Consultant and for the past eighteen months, Yvette has been working as Managing Consultant for the company. “What I love about my job is the fact that I can combine the role of consultant and that of manager,” says Yvette, and she adds: “Listening to customers and finding the best solutions for them while motivating my team is the perfect professional mix for me.

Atypical company with an open culture
Yvette made a very conscious choice to return to Cmotions after having worked for another tech company prior to her year of traveling. “This experience made me realise that the grass is not always greener somewhere else and I was very fortunate to be welcomed back into the Cmotions team,” says Yvette. She continues: “We are somewhat atypical compared to other tech companies because over 40% of the consultants here are women.” There is a strong sense of equality at Cmotions and within the Broad Horizon group in general. ”The open company culture and career opportunities are definitely aspects that I search for in a working environment. The fact that everything is open for discussion is an important factor for me, and I’m convinced that this is also the reason why a lot of women feel at ease within this company.

CIA’s
Cmotion’s Interest Areas or CIA’s are discussion topics on which a small group of colleagues elaborate during a number of hours each month. “It gives us the opportunity to get in-depth insights into certain topics and gain knowledge on specific, often technical related, subjects. Results are shared with peers or can even get press coverage, as was the case with our text mining analysis regarding restaurant reviews.” She continues: “Cmotions welcomes these initiatives and for me, this is another fine example of the atypical company culture. The fact that we can allocate time for CIA’s is recommendable, but for me, it’s also an important learning process and helps to gain new insights and learn other skills which in term can be useful for our customers”.

The gender balance
For Yvette, it is important to have a good balance between men and women in a working environment as she is convinced this contributes to successful customer projects.

When asking Yvette if she has ever had to deal with certain stigmas around women in the workplace, she is very determined and would even contradict this. “Many of our customers are pleased to see women involved in projects. Sometimes a women’s input can bring a whole other perspective in negotiations and projects.” She is happy to say that customers do not see or treat a female consultant any differently than a male consultant. Yvette does point out however that there are differences when it comes to communicating in a professional environment, as men tend to speak in a more direct manner. “Women should always be mindful to also make their point be heard,” she concludes.

Since the covid pandemic, a large number of job interviews have taken place online, we do however see that mainly women request to have a second interview at the office, as they want to meet their future colleagues in person and observe the company atmosphere. Women are more sensitive to this and we welcome this because it shows they attach importance to the correct work ethics and open company culture.

Mum to be
In January 2023, Yvette will become a mother, and though she is aware that this will have an impact on her life, she’s very much looking forward to welcoming her firstborn child. “I think it has not always been easy for past generations, the prejudices regarding pregnant women are luckily fading away in our Western world and in the current business surroundings, but this was not always the case. I have discussed my professional aspirations in combination with motherhood with my manager, and it is comforting to receive support and to see how we can find the right work-life balance together. It’s a question of finding a good equilibrium that works both for my employer and for myself. I do not feel that the pregnancy or being a future mum will in any way hinder me in my career and future professional goals.

Who has had a strong influence on your professional choices?
My father supported me in my choices and stimulated me to pursue what I enjoyed doing. He always showed interest in what I did and encouraged me to keep working toward my goals and ambitions. I have been privileged to travel the world for a year and meet people from other cultural backgrounds. The fact that in some countries certain gender traditions persistently remain unchanged, has also been an eye opener for me. I truly appreciate the fact that we live in a country where women can work and where we can engage in the same positions as men.