Posted: 18 Jul. 2022 3 min. read

Episode 2 - In high demand: more women with a degree in STEM

An interview with Françoise Chombar

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Women make up more than half of the world’s population, but of the Belgians who obtain a higher degree in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) only 22% are women. That is significantly less than elsewhere in Europe, despite STEM being the engine that drives our progress, particularly in the digital world. 

So, why are there more males in STEM jobs and what can we do about it? Finally, what’s at stake if we continue down this path?

In this episode, Piet Vandendriessche and Eva Droogmans are joined by Françoise Chombar,  entrepreneur, Chair of Melexis’ Board of Directors — an innovative producer of chips for the automotive industry—and president of the STEM platform, to learn more. Together they discuss diversity, inclusion and the Matilda effect. With additional perspectives from Inge Diels, Veerle Peeters, Anne Gubbelmans and Wincy De Boeck.

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Françoise Chombar

Technology is exponential, so we should definitely avoid installing gender bias in datasets.

Françoise Chombar, Chairwoman at Melexis and president of the STEM Platform

About Françoise Chombar

Françoise Chombar is a Belgian businesswoman, entrepreneur, and former CEO and one of the original founders of the semiconductor company Melexis. In 2021, she was appointed as Chair of Melexis’ Board of Directors.

Françoise is also president of the STEM platform, an advisory board to the Flemish government, aiming to encourage young people to pursue an education in science, technology, engineering or mathematics.

At Deloitte we have seen that we have really made a lot of progress in terms of gender equality. But despite all the progress we've made, it remains a striking problem that we still have a shortage of women at the top level. This is further reinforced by the lack of diversity in STEM profiles, making it even more critical for us to take action.

Inge Diels, Managing Partner Talent

Deloitte speakers

Piet Vandendriessche

Piet Vandendriessche

Deloitte Belgium CEO Emeritus

Piet Vandendriessche is the former Chief Executive Officer of Deloitte Belgium. He first took up the position on 1 June 2016. As CEO, Piet leads and manages the Executive Committee and sets the strategic direction of the firm. He is also a member of the Deloitte North South European Executive. Piet believes strongly in the impact Deloitte can create for its clients and talent, and for society as a whole. Our strategic professionals stay abreast of the changes shaping our world and bring innovative and sustainable solutions to our clients. Similarly, through the Deloitte Foundation the firm supports a wide range of social projects in Belgium and abroad. These focus on education, innovation and entrepreneurship – areas that make the best use of our skills. In a long career at Deloitte with many opportunities to grow, Piet attaches great importance to maintaining a transparent, dynamic environment that provides people with plenty of room for personal and professional advancement.

Inge Diels

Inge Diels

Managing Partner People & Purpose

Inge is Managing Partner People & Purpose. She has been a member of the Deloitte Belgium Executive Committee since 2019. Inge’s career is entirely built in the talent domain, both in a client facing role as Human Capital Consultant, where she worked mainly in the public sector and the life sciences industry, as well as an HR business partner managing HR operations in different business units. Since 2014, Inge has been a guest lecturer at UC Leuven-Limburg, sharing insights and expertise within the Introduction to Human Capital Trends course. Together with the People & Purpose leadership, Inge is committed to building an impactful & sustainable People & Purpose experience. At Deloitte, we want to attract, engage, and retain people by focusing on meaningful work, supportive management, creating a positive work environment, providing growth opportunities, and sustaining trust in leadership. As a sponsor of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, together with her team, Inge is investing heavily in creating a culture where people can be their authentic selves, be able to thrive, and perform at their best. Inge is engaging the full organisation to become purpose-led and to be proud about the impact we make every day on our clients, our people and society. Connect with Inge Diels on LinkedIn.