Jok chose engineering over kitchen sink: ‘Women empowerment’ | Jobs Vox


photo credit: omroepbrabant

The number of female students at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/E) continues to increase. There are 3,652 of them this academic year, compared to 2,100 more than a decade ago. unimaginable in the 1960s. At that time there were hardly any girls in the lecture hall. By the standards prevalent at the time, they were destined for motherhood and housework. Jock Jansson from Eindhoven disagreed.

Jock Johnson, photo credit: Omroepbrabant

only women on faculty

She went on to study electrical engineering in 1964. A curiosity, as she was the only woman on its faculty. A total of 19 women were studying that year which was then also called technic hogschoolwrites Omroep Brabant.

Proudly, the joke points to a tall white building with blue windows. “That’s where the Faculty of Electrical Engineering was. It’s great to see it again. It brings back a lot of memories.

Jock is back on campus in Eindhoven, where he studied from 1964 to 1971. As the only girl among 200 boys. “I distinctly remember entering the lecture hall on my first day. I didn’t know what I saw. There were only boys, not a single girl. I didn’t expect it at all. I just sat down. Not for, I have come for lecture.

female promotion

In 1964, it was not common for girls to study. And certainly not electrical engineering. Jock explains: “My mother encouraged me. ‘Child, go and study, work can come later,’ she said.

mixed reception

The joke stood out. “Some professors thought it was cool and special to have a girl in the hall. Others thought it was weird. They didn’t like me, literally and figuratively. They started the lecture with “Gentlemen:” Was sitting in the row of

The joke did not deter him. What he found difficult was the fact that there was no role model for him in college. Someone she can relate to, who can serve as a role model. “There were women, but they were secretaries or had other support roles. Later I myself became that role model, I am proud of that.

The joke points to a low white building. “That was W Hall. That’s where the practicals were. When I was working there, sometimes people would pass by and actually retrace their steps and look again to make sure they hadn’t seen a girl.” have seen


Being a single woman in a man’s world also had its advantages. “I was often pushed forward and given a lot of opportunities that others didn’t get. For example, when there were guests from abroad, I was asked to help welcome them. And I was immediately asked to join the board of the study association. “At the same time, that also brought pressure.” When you’re in the spotlight, you want to do well. I felt I had to perform.”

graduation and beyond

In 1971, Jok graduated from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering as the first woman. She will never forget the convocation ceremony. “That was a really big deal. My professors were full of praise. Maybe he overdid it; his praise made me feel small.

Jock was immediately offered a job at Tu/e as an academic assistant. He later joined the Fontys University of Applied Sciences. There she held all kinds of positions until her retirement.

Still, the love for TU/E runs deep. “It will always be a special place for me. For my whole family for that matter. Because my husband and our three children also study here.”


Translated by: Anita Sevugan


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