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MAGAZINE #6 - 2017/2018 WWW.WTCNL.COM

MAGAZINE OF COOPERATING WTCA MEMBERS IN THE NETHERLANDS

TOP WOMAN OF THE YEAR 2017 INGRID DE GRAAF (AEGON) FROM SECRETARY TO BOARD MEMBER ELSKE DOETS BUSINESS WOMAN OF THE YEAR 2017 ‘I LIKE TO GO TO THE EDGE’ COLUMN BEING A WOMAN IN A MAN’S WORLD

SPECIAL

WOMEN IN BUSINESS

NEELIE KROES VS THE CORPORATE WORLD

'THERE SHOULD BE MORE DIVERSITY IN THE WORKPLACE'


SAVE UP TO 70%

Date and time Friday 15 December, 12:00 - 21:00 Saturday 16 December, 10:00 - 18:00

Location Crowne Plaza Hotel George Gerschwinlaan 101, Amsterdam

Cash & Creditcards only www.zingaleather.com


Index

INDEX 06 Cover Story Neelie Kroes vs the corporate world 10 News Dutch Report 12 Column Meester Leonie lawyer and blogger 13 Event Gassan Diamonds celebrates 50 years at Schiphol Airport 15 Interview Elske Doets: Dutch Businesswoman of the Year 2017 19 Gadgets Power-Woman on the go 21 Food Fast & Healthy: morning food 22 Dutch adventurer Marloes Claessens works for Donahue & Partners in New York City 25 Event Growing in the heart of WTC Eindhoven

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27 Column Evert-Jan Schouwstra on the General Assembly 2018 28 Interview Yulia Karpova, director of CIS Management 30 Destination: Twente Home of WTC Twente

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32 On the move Spanish Natalia Fernandez works for the Dutch Catawiki 34 Business Talk Eight Dutch women talk about equality for women in business 38 Interview Ingrid de Graaf (AEGON), Top Woman of the Year 41 Contact us World Trade Center Netherlands Alliance 42 WTC Abroad Facts & Figures about WTC Gibraltar 22

MAGAZINE #6 WTC-NL magazine is issued by ASEGA Media on behalf of WTC Netherlands (WTCs Almere, Amsterdam, Eindhoven, Leeuwarden, Rotterdam, Schiphol Airport, The Hague and Twente). www.wtcnl.com ASEGA Media & Communication Gustav Mahlerplein 2, 1082 MA, Amsterdam (Viñoly building, first floor) T: +31 (0) 20 - 799 74 14 Goirkestraat 90, 5046 GN, Tilburg, T +31 (0)13 545 32 98 info@asega.nl - www.asega.nl Editor-in-chief: Frank van Bergen Management: Bob Oostelbos Sales Executives: Bob Oostelbos, Roy Coomans, La Toya Ramsahai Art Director: Daniëlle Kool

Editors/contributors: Lonneke van Knijff, Iris van Iersel, Merel Boudrie, Ymke Frijters, Roy Coomans, Iris van Iersel en Evert Schouwstra Translation advisor: Sahana Prakash Photography: Thomas Boden, Lotte de Graaf, Wouter van Ierssel, Shutterstock, Darrin Estep, AEGON, Jan Doets Editorial Advisory Board: Patricia van Drongelen, Robert Anemaet Thanks to: Elske Doets, Neelie Kroes, Ingrid de Graaf, Natalia Fernandez, Marloes Claessens en Leonie van der Grinten Printed by: Q-Promotions Print run each edition: 3.000 copies Frequency: Biannual Advertisement/enquiries: Please contact ASEGA Media & Communication at T +31 (0)20 799 74 14 or info@asega.nl Copyright: © 2017/2018 ASEGA Media & Communication. All rights reserved. Nothing appearing in this magazine may be copied or reproduced, in any manner whatsoever, unless explicit permission has been given in writing.

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WE’LL TAKE CARE OF YOU, SO YOU CAN TAKE CARE OF BUSINESS

Why not drop your child off on your way to work, have your suit dry cleaned between meetings, and stay for coffee after work? How about a sit down meal with friends and colleagues, or simply grab a bite to go on your way home. It’s all here under one roof. Welcome to WTC The Hague.

CONNECT TO A WORLD OF POSSIBILITIES www.wtcthehague.com


Editorial

THIS ONE’S FOR THE WOMEN! With 2018 approaching at high speed, it’s time to look back on an eventful year. For the World Trade Center Netherlands Alliance, it was the year that we’ve been preparing ourselves for the General Assembly, taking place in Leeuwarden in 2018. This year has also shown us that, in international politics at least, anything can - and will - happen. 2017 marks the year that a businessman and former reality TV star can become president of the United States. How this will progress in the coming years will be just as exciting as the last months, we suppose. But 2017 actually should have been the year in which the first female US president took office. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be. It showed us that, although it was a narrow victory for Donald Trump, women still have a long way to go when it comes to equality in both international politics and in business. Gender inequality actually worsened around the world in 2017, according to a new report from the World Economic Forum. The current #metoo campaign underlines this even more. It’s time people – both men and women – stand up to inequality. Gender equality is both a moral and economic imperative. According to the WOF report, there isn’t a country in the world which has achieved gender parity when it comes to economic opportunities and work.

GENDER EQUALITY IS BOTH A MORAL AND ECONOMIC IMPERATIVE

These alarming numbers lead us to make this 6th and final edition of WTC-NL Magazine, which is dedicated to the powerful women in business. These are the women that can be an inspiration for all women (and men) out there, not just in business. It’s important, though, that women work together with men to create a world of opportunity, without picking a corner. It is the diversity that makes a better workplace, the different ways of doing business can only contribute to achieving your goals. Or, as Yulia Karpova puts it in the interview on page 28: “Women are changing this man`s world into a better place with equal opportunities.” Let’s keep it that way.

Patricia van Drongelen Operational Manager WTC Almere 5


gadgets

NEELIE KROES VS THE CORPORATE WORLD

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Interview

WE’RE ON THE RIGHT PATH, BUT ACCORDING TO NELLIE KROES THERE IS STILL PLENTY OF WORK TO BE DONE IN TERMS OF WOMEN’S RIGHTS IN THE WORKPLACE. NINE QUESTIONS FOR THIS ‘POWER-WOMAN’. Text: Ymke Frijters & Frank van Bergen

Who are real power-women in your opinion? “I don’t use that term, I would rather call it influential. I think Angela Merkel is a good example of this. She has an absolute starring role in her own country and on the world stage. Furthermore, she’s an extraordinarily friendly person. I also think Christine Lagarde, the number 1 of the IMF and former minister of France, is an influential woman. I worked with her. As a woman, she holds an important position.” Have you ever experienced any hindrance because of being a woman? “I did long ago. At the time, it was still not possible for women to carry out certain functions. These days, that hindrance is luckily no longer relevant. I can’t say if I contributed to this. What I still remember well: when I got married, the most senior boss invited me for coffee. ‘When you get pregnant, I assume you’ll quit your job’, he said. That was accepted in those days. Nowadays, no one says this of course. This indicates how much can change in a human lifetime.” What should in your opinion be changed in Dutch corporate life in terms of equality for women? “As far as I’m concerned there should be a lot more diversity in the workplace. Figures indicate that the percentage of women in management positions has dropped again. That’s why I became a big proponent of women’s quotas a long time ago. I was initially very much against it. But if you have to wait for things to change, I think you need eternal life. For me it’s very important for young girls to finish their education. Whether or not you keep working, it’s very important for you to improve your resume. Degrees are a very important insurance for financial independence.” You work for Uber. They didn’t look too good this summer in relation to intimidation and chauvinism. “There was wrongdoing, especially in San Francisco. Unfortunately this is not only the case at Uber; there are a lot of other companies in other countries that I wouldn’t trust. Measures were imposed and CEO Travis Kalanick has resigned. Uber now has a new CEO with a very impressive track record. I’m pleased with that. By the way, I think it was very courageous for the woman to stand up. When something is wrong, you need to have the courage to address it. Even if it doesn’t personally concern you.”

During your EU directorate Forbes listed you as one the 100 most influential women in the world. How do you experience that? “I put it into context. This listing is of course related to the function I held at the time. I’m not going to get too big for my boots. It can also be relevant in your job: it means that your work is being taken seriously. People value me for what I do or because they agree with me.” Are there people that you look up to? “At the end of my second term in Brussels I met an Italian woman who participated in a robot research project the University of Turin. She was 92 years old at the time. During a conversation I asked her about her life. At the age of sixteen she married a man who didn’t want her to pursue education or travel. He died when she was 72 and that was her turning point. She went to university, wrote books and did research projects. This teaches me that you’re never too old to undertake things. If you’re dreaming of something, don’t ever say afterwards: ‘I would have liked to do that’.” >>

‘When something is wrong, you need to have the courage to address it.’

SPECIAL 7


Does you r office ha ve an airpo rt?

More information about renting an office: 020 – 316 3024 or www.wtcschiphol.nl


Does the world already know everything about Neelie Kroes? “I wouldn’t say that I’m an open book, but the world has slowly got to know more about me. I’m a public figure, so I can’t complain about that. People that recognise me on the street are always friendly. Those who want to say mean things don’t run into me, I imagine. If people disagree with a political decision, so be it. When someone close to me is has a negative opinion about something, I listen to the criticism or try to come up with arguments.” How do you look at the current state of affairs in Europe, after your departure? “Things are looking up again. I’m positive about the current atmosphere and effort. 18 months ago, we were in deep trouble, and that’s now behind us. The current European Commissioner, Timmermans, is doing a good job. He’s a real European and an inspired person. During my time as a European Commissioner, I had the opportunity to work with so many talented people from all the member states. Working in a team like that is inspiring.” If you could do one thing in your life again, what would it be? “Everything that I have on my plate right now, such as fundraising for the Rijksmuseum and helping to stop female genital mutilation together with Amref Flying Doctors, is very interesting to me and keeps me busy. But if I could change something, I would make more time for my grandchildren. I prefer looking forward, you don’t have to look back. I still think life is exciting.”

‘Timmermans is doing a good job.’

NEELIE KROES Former VVD politician Neelie Kroes (Rotterdam, 1941) can justifiably be called an influential women. Shortly after her university education in economics, she began her distinguished career in the the Dutch parliament (Tweede Kamer). From 2004 to 2014 she held the position of European Commissioner and from 2009-2014 she was also the Vice-Chairman of the European Commission. In 2007 Neelie Kroes was number 59 on the Forbes list ‘The 100 Most Powerful Women’; a year later she was at number 47. Since 2016 Neelie Kroes has among other things been chairman of the policy advisory board for taxi company Uber, board member of Salesforce and Advisor to Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

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WTC Eindhoven

International entrepreneurship in SMEs The SME world is responsible for the vast majority of Dutch employment, investments and the total gross added value in the Netherlands, and is part of the backbone of the Dutch economy. Still, the step towards international success is tough for many SMEs. WTC•E for the southern Netherlands together with entrepreneur associations and Rabobank organises an inspirational meeting to become internationally successful. Top entrepreneur Wim van der Leegte, commissioner of the VDL Group, shares his experience in international entrepreneurship. More information at www.wtce.nl

DUTCH REPORT WTC Almere

WTC Almere participates in Flevoland Business Festival

WIM VAN DER LEEGTE

WTC Amsterdam

Amsterdam wins Ryder Cup 2017

At the Houtrak Golf Club, WTC Amsterdam Business Club and WTC Schiphol Business Club fought each other for the Ryder Cup. The two business clubs are only 12km apart as the crow flies. The participants of the Ryder Cup tournament played a Fourball betterball Matchplay. One could also follow a clinic to score points for the team. With a big winning score, Amsterdam took home the Cup this year! Schiphol is preparing for the rematch.

On 27 and 28 September, WTC Almere took part in the Flevoland Business Festival. The trade fair for entrepreneurs from Flevoland was held at Lelystad Airport. As the first large scheduled flights will take off from the airport within the next two years, there is a lot of interest for activity on and around the site. WTC Almere was present to show its facilities as a premium building to potential entrepreneurs and independent professionals. The Flevoland Business Fair is held once every two years.

WTC Leeuwarden

Focus on Energy – Biomass at Norallia 2018

WTC Rotterdam

ESRI GIS Conference in WTC Rotterdam

This year’s ESRI GIS Conference took place on 20 and 21 September 2017 at the Postillion Conference Centre in WTC Rotterdam. ESRI GIS Conference is the biggest annual GIS event in the Netherlands. GIS is an acronym for Geographic Information System, an information system which allows (air) data or information about geographical objects (so-called geo-information) to be saved, managed, modified, analysed, integrated and presented. 10

World Trade Center Leeuwarden is organising, in cooperation with WTC Twente, Energy Valley, Enterprise Europe Network and local WTCs, the B2B match-making event for the Nordic region (Netherlands, Scandinavia, the Baltics, Germany and Poland). This will be held in Leeuwarden in November 2018. The focus will be on energy such as multi valorization of biomass to energy supply chains: Biomass as the oil of the future.


News News Flash WTC The Hague

The Hague Cyber Security capital of Europe

The Hague was the location for the Cyber Security Week this year, which took place from 25 to 29 September. Three thousand visitors and hundreds of cybersecurity and cybercrime experts from the government, the corporate world and academia gathered to share their knowledge, the newest developments and latest innovations. In these times, it’s important for people and institutions to work together to ensure international cybersecurity, thus taking care of the future together.

WTC Twente

Successful participation in Europe’s largest agriculture trade fair in Poland From 21 to 25 September, a delegation from the eastern Netherlands took part in an economic mission to Poland. The delegation consisted of a varied group of companies in the agriculture sector who together explored the Polish market. The companies took part in the Agroshow, the largest outdoor agriculture trade show in Europe. In addition to participating in a shared stand, the WTC Twente also organised individual meetings with potential Polish partners. In this mission WTC Twente worked together with WTC Poznan and the Dutch embassy in Poland. WTC Utrecht

WTC Utrecht will become the city’s new icon On the Jaarbeursplein, construction efforts are going all out on a new city icon: WTC Utrecht. The 18-floor building will open its doors in February 2018 and house various hospitality, retail, office and meeting spaces. Accessibility is the key word with Utrecht Central Station as a neighbour and a direct connection with Europe’s largest bicycle parking space. With 28,000m2 of space, WTC Utrecht will become the city’s vibrant, sustainable business hub. A nice detail: you can follow the construction of the WTC every day via a livestream on the website (www.wtcutrecht.nl).

FOTO: REISMEDIA

WTC Schiphol

Business Travel Organization Schiphol Travel International Announced ‘Travel Management Company of the Year 2017’ By a professional jury, the readers of Aviation News Magazine, Business Travel News and Business Travel Professionals from the Business Travel & Mobility Club Network, Schiphol Travel International has been awarded the title TMC of the year.

DIRECTIE SCHIPHOL TRAVEL

A professional jury has also conducted further research and concluded that Schiphol Travel International has focuses on customer engagement and that the mission to personalize business travel, despite solid competition, is consistently implemented. 11


Column

BEING A WOMAN IN A MAN’S WORLD The legal profession is traditionally dominated by men. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t, or can’t be, good female lawyers, but that women have to be able to stand their ground. Certainly in criminal law, I would like to add. As defence lawyers, we’re expected to be in the trenches. We have to visit suspects at the police station who do not necessarily shower as often as we do, we have meetings with clients in penitentiary institutions (prisons) behind a number of closed doors and walls and in very little cells, we have to deal with all kinds of people, who often don’t have the same education as we do, and if you’re unlucky, you meet a client who’s trying to stay one

step ahead of you or use you (‘couldn’t you bring something into jail for me?’). In short: you can’t be easily frightened. Certainly not as a woman. Being a woman in a man’s world sometimes leads to special situations. Some time ago, I experienced that the wife of my client (who had at this point been imprisoned for a few months) thought I was having an affair with her partner. It turned out alright in the end, but it caused a number of very unpleasant situation. It’s more fun when ‘being a woman’ leads to positive reactions. ‘You can send this one more often’, I’ve heard. Or: ‘With a lawyer like that, I’d commit crimes as well.’ I also hear back from clients that they prefer having a female lawyer. ‘Because they have to prove themselves.’ In any case, I’ve learned from my office associates that they never mind when I have to take over a case for them. Whether that makes me a power-woman? I don’t know. Like in every other profession, there are more and more women working in (criminal) law. I do think that it’s good - whether you’re a man or a woman - to distinguish yourself, that’s why I started a blog when I was still paralegal. Meester Leonie. With this blog, I try to get rid of stereotypes regarding criminal justice and law. By now I’ve accumulated more than 30,000 followers, I give lectures throughout the country, I have been able to share my story in newspapers and on TV, and I work independently one day a week. I think Eva Jinek is a real power-woman. My father-in-law sometimes compares me to her. Although I think it’s mainly because of our blonde hair and high heels, you can’t give me a bigger compliment.

Leonie van der Grinten Lawyer and blogger De Rooij - Van Wijk advocaten, Eindhoven www.meesterleonie.nl

SPECIAL 12


Event

Gassan celebrates 50 years of diamond trading at Schiphol Airport Gassan Schiphol celebrated its 50th birthday! And the family company did not let this pass unnoticed. On 14 September, there was a party at our national airport. All customers had the chance of winning a 0,50 carat Gassan 121 with a purchase. While the company started in 1967 with one branch and five employees, Gassan Schiphol now has 17 locations with more than 200 employees. With this, Gassan Schiphol has grown into one of the world’s largest ‘airport diamond traders’. In 2017, Gassan doesn’t only sell diamonds, but also jewellery and watches by more than 85 different brands. Especially watches are popular at the airport.

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SHORT-SKI WITH COLLEAGUES? WENS BUSINESS EVENTS the winter sport specialist SUMMER 2007 • Name & concept of ‘Wens Business Events’

conceived in Indonesia (Gili Islands, Lombok)

• Name written down in the sand • First groups booked their short-ski in September 2007

SUMMER 2017… • Over 220 companies booked their annual

skiing trip through Wens Business Events

• Groups travelling from 15 up to 400 persons • Office with 10 enthusiastic winter sports’ lovers • Free use of efficient online registration system • Wens Business Events is the short-ski provider

We are proud to work for these companies: RABOBANK • PWC• ABN AMRO • DELOITTE ACCENTURE • VUMC • CBRE • NAUTA DUTILH and many more

wens business events T0358200235

info@wensbusinessevents.nl

www.wensbusinessevents.nl


Interview

BUSINESSWOMAN OF THE YEAR 2017 ELSKE DOETS

’I LIKE TO BE ON THE EDGE’ AT THE AGE OF 23, ELSKE DOETS (45) STARTED WORKING AT HER FATHER JAN’S TRAVEL ORGANISATION. AT 28, DOETS TOOK OVER ALL THE SHARES AFTER WHICH SHE COULD PUT HER OWN MARK ON THE COMPANY. THIS YEAR, SHE WAS AWARDED WITH THE TITLE OF BUSINESS WOMAN OF THE YEAR 2017. THIS POWER-WOMAN IS NOT RESTING ON HER LAURELS, AND NOW WANTS TO PASS ON THIS MESSAGE TO YOUNG GIRLS, WHO ARE ALSO ASPIRING TO BUILD A CAREER, THROUGH THE ELSKE DOETS YOUNG LADY BUSINESS ACADEMY. “I WANT TO SHOW THEM THAT IT IS POSSIBLE.

SPECIAL

Text: Lonneke van Knijff | Photography: Jan Doets

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What was it like to take over your father’s company as a young woman? “I always had the dream of becoming a businesswoman. Where did that come from? I don’t know, I must have been born with it. But I still had to make the dream a reality. I was offered the opportunity to do so at a fairly young age and was able to take over all the shares when I was 28. That was special and gave me the opportunity to modernise the company more quickly and leave my own mark on it.” And is that a female mark? “No, not necessarily, but it is my mark. For example, a few years ago I decided that we should publish a magazine instead of the traditional travel guides. People thought that was strange, but it works really well. Once a year we publish an inspirational magazine, full of experiences, interviews and travel logs. All made in-house. Jan Doets stands for experience, that’s where we make the difference. If you’re travelling to the Grand Canyon, you take a spectacular helicopter flight and your hotel is actually on the edge of the Grand Canyon, not a few hours away. You see the sunrise and sunset. That’s experience. On my holidays I like to be on the edge, I keep challenging myself to do unexpected things. That makes me a better manager.” Have you seen an improvement in the female-male ratio over the years? “Of course I do a lot of business in the US and Canada and I have to say that it’s a bit better there, but in general it’s mostly males at the top, in the travel industry as well. So there are still a lot of gains to be made. Now, as businesswoman of the year, I notice more and more prejudice. For example, I find it quite shocking how men ask women about how they combine motherhood with their career. It just means making choices and I don’t think this is more or less so for men; they are simply not asked the question and women are. You don’t ask a top athlete how they do it all. I’m no different.”

’I keep challenging myself to do unexpected things.’ 16


How does it feel to be awarded the title of businesswoman of the year 2017? “I wasn’t aware of the fact that this was going on, it was a huge surprise! It’s all a bit secretive. For example, you can’t register yourself, but you’re nominated. You have to be a major shareholder of some standing, profitable, growing and preferably employ a lot of women. At 90%, Jan Doets does alright with that.” “A good six months on I can say that the title is an enormous privilege. I actually feel a bit like Alice in Wonderland, because everything makes me go: wow. It’s all very high level and especially very educational. I for example had the honour of meeting King Willem-Alexander at a top-women meeting. He was presented with a book, and because I’m in it, I got to talk to him for a bit. He told me that I really have to do something in this role about the male-female ratio at the top. ‘Because it’s not good’, he said.”

’Women my age are often stuck in patterns.’

That’s why you set up the Elske Doets Young Lady Business Academy this year. Why specifically this target audience? “Because in my view, I can still really make a difference there. I notice that women my age are often already stuck in patterns or have a high-earning husband, which discourages them from pursuing a career, even though they have the right papers. At the Academy, for girls between fifteen and twenty-four years of age, all levels are welcome. I found them to be enormously strong-willed girls with very diverse career dreams. The Academy itself has nothing to do with me or my company; I really want to stimulate these girls to become an entrepreneur or executive. This can be in any area in terms of industry or direction. They thought it was an honour to join me, but I actually felt it was the other way round. I thought it was fantastic!” And where do you hope the girls will be in ten years? “I hope that at least one in ten girls has realised her goals. I mainly hope that they think back to the masterclasses of the various power-women and think: ‘A career and a family, they did it too!’ Because that’s the stigma the young girls are up against. An environment that tells them they can’t have children if they want to be executives. You notice that girls then start to doubt whether it’s the right choice. That’s exactly what I want to show them at an early stage, that it is possible!” Do you still have goals you want to achieve? “I have a beautiful, growing company, so I have a few wishes. What I’m experiencing right now and what I’m being asked for is fantastic. For example, I’m going to be growth ambassador at NL Groeit; I can of course use my expertise there. Who knows what the future will bring. I will in any case always remain an entrepreneur.”

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ALMERE

Het WTC Almere Conference Center

Het WTC Almere Conference Center is een modern en hoogwaardig congrescentrum met 12 comfortabele vergaderzalen en een maximale zaalcapaciteit van 225 personen. U kunt bij ons terecht voor al uw congressen, vergaderingen, bijeenkomsten, evenementen, diners en borrels. Het WTC Almere Conference Center is direct gelegen naast het Centraal Station van Almere en dus voor iedereen goed bereikbaar. • • • • • •

12 comfortabele vergaderzalen tot 225 personen catering op maat geavanceerde audiovisuele middelen gratis Wifi inpandige parkeergarage restaurant binnen het gebouw

Onze receptie ontvangt uw gasten graag en ondersteunt u waar nodig. Eerst even zelf rondkijken? Dat kan ook natuurlijk. Bel of mail ons en we laten u graag de mogelijkheden zien.

ALMERE Tel. 036-548 2500 meeting@wtcalmere.nl www.wtcalmere.nl


Gadgets

POWER-WOMAN ‘ON THE GO’

ALWAYS AVAILABLE

RECORD BEAUTIFUL MOMENTS

MUSIC WITH A UNIQUE LOOK

Give your smartphone the boost it needs with the toCHARGE powerbank by Kreafunk. The design looks like a rock and it has enough power to get you and your phone through a whole weekend. Tablet out of power? The toCHARGE has enough juice for that too. It’s got the power! Kreafunk charger - 55 euros via Fonq

Immortalise beautiful moments with the handy HP Sprocket. This portable printer fits in a handbag or trouser pocket. The HP Sprocket photo printer prints photos at 5x7.5 centimetres and through the HP Sprocket App works together with social media channels such as Instagram. With the self-adhesive back, you can paste your favourite moments straight into your diary or notebook. HP Sprocket - 149 euros via Wehkamp

Sudio Sweden is aimed at men and women with style. The Regent headphones are an eye-catcher themselves, but they can be further customised with marble caps, for example. Listening to music becomes a whole new experience thanks to the balance between the instrumental tones and the reduction of noise. On the way to a trendy party or a summer stroll, the Sudio headphones fit any outfit. Regent headphones - 129 euros via Sudio Sweden

SHOWING OFF

EVEN BETTER AND SMARTER

PERFECT BASE WITHIN SECONDS

An activity tracker is usually not a beautiful piece of jewellery that you can show off. Michael Kors had different thoughts on that. The activity tracker is suitable for women who like to stay active, but also like beautiful products. The tracker records the number of steps, calories and hours of sleep. Michael Kors activity tracker - 149 euros via Bijenkorf

Apple is introducing a brand new glass design with the iPhone 8. The most popular camera in the world is now even better and the chip is the smartest and most powerful ever in a smartphone. You no longer need cables, because charging is wireless and effortless. With augmented reality, things become possible that you could previously never have imagined. iPhone 8 - starting at 768 euros via Tele2

After the famous Clarisonic cleaning brush, the brand has introduced a brush head for foundation, making applying foundation child’s play. Within a few seconds, you have a perfect basis on your face and you’re ready for the day. Clarisonic Sonic foundation brush head 35 dollars via Sephora.com

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SPECIAL


Proud host of

the 49th WTCA General Assembly

APR

22-27

2018

TRUST: THE CORE OF INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS LEEUWARDEN - AMSTERDAM

We expect over 400 WTC representatives and companies from all over the world. Your chance to increase your network in 90 countries.

For more information: www.wtcaga2018.nl


Food

FAST & HEALTHY: MORNING FOOD DO YOU ALWAYS GET INTO YOUR CAR JUST A BIT TOO LATE ON THE WAY TO WORK? TIME FOR FAST, HEALTHY AND ON-THE-GO FOOD! THANKS TO THESE FAST BREAKFAST AND LUNCH OPTIONS, YOU’LL GET THROUGH THE WORKING DAY WITHOUT A SENSE OF GUILT OR AN EMPTY STOMACH. COOKIES ARE ALLOWED

LATE SUMMER IN A GLASS You can enjoy the afterglow of the summer with a fresh mango smoothie with coconut. Half a litre of coconut water, 165ml of coconut cream, 250 grams of mango and fresh mint and ginger to taste provide four full glasses of smoothie. Tropical treat in a glass!

The Rens Kroes breakfast cookies are almost too easy to make! Mash two bananas, mix them in a bowl with 120 grams of oatmeal, a teaspoon of vanilla and cocoa powder, some raisins and coconut rasp, and your dough is done. Fifteen minutes in the oven and your breakfast or snack is ready. This recipe makes seven cookies.

EASY, HEALTHY AND SUSTAINABLE With the Jake Food shakes, you save time while getting enough nutrients. The shake contains all the vitamins and minerals you need. The shake tastes like oatmeal and vanilla and is ready in a jiffy. Ideal between meetings! You pay about 2.75 euro per meal. Jake shake 160 grams- 63 euros

RESET YOUR BRAIN With the JUIZ-S Cold Pressed detox juice fast, you replace your meals with healthy juices and give your body a complete reset in 3, 5 or 6 days. Another good option: replace one meal a day with a juice from the individual bottle package and eat healthily otherwise. Easy to maintain and no hassle during breakfast or lunch. JUIZ-S loose bottles package starting at 79.95 euros

OVERNIGHT IN THE FRIDGE It’s the hippest and healthiest breakfast of 2017: overnight oats. Overnight oats are oat flakes which spent the night soaking in milk or low-fat yoghurt. You flavour it with things like apple, honey and cinnamon or red fruits. Prepare multiple containers in the fridge and you can have a healthy and quick breakfast all week!

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‘AMERICANS DEFINITELY STILL HAVE SOMETHING TO LEARN FROM THE DUTCH WORK CULTURE’ SHE STARTED WORKING AS A LAWYER FOR HGV LAW IN AMSTERDAM IN 2014, BUT NOW MARLOES CLAESSENS LIVES AND WORKS FOR THE SUBSIDIARY DONAHUE & PARTNERS IN THE CITY THAT NEVER SLEEPS: NEW YORK. HOW DID THIS ADVENTURE BEGIN? AND WHAT CAN THE NETHERLANDS LEARN FROM THE WORK CULTURE IN NEW YORK? WE CALLED HER. Text: Merel Boudrie | Photography: Darrin Estep Photography, NY

How did you end up in New York? “In January 2014, I started working for HVG Law in Amsterdam as a lawyer. After three years I was seconded to HVG Law’s Dutch desk, Donahue & Partners, for four months. I actually enjoyed these four months so much, on both a professional and private level, that I decided to continue with this adventure abroad. In New York.”

Did you hesitate before committing for a longer period? “No, I actually made up my mind quickly. In New York, I was offered the opportunity of working for the world’s biggest companies and to be cutting edge. I’ll be able to use the unique experience I’m gaining for the rest of my life. At the moment, I live together with my boyfriend in a 61-floor tower near Chelsea to also experience the ‘real New York’ in this way. A way of living which is impossible in the Netherlands.”

Tell us, what’s this adventure like? “In September, I came back for a period of at least two years. At Donahue & Partners, among other things I advise multinationals in the areas of (global) restructuring, finance and strategic analyses in the domain of Dutch law. Despite the fact that it is indeed an adventure I do already feel completely at home. Among other things, thanks to my colleagues because we’re a relatively small group of people from the Netherlands, Luxembourg and Belgium who are all in the same boat. That’s why we also do a lot of things together outside of work.”

22


‘Dutch people are more innovative and creative.’

Can we still learn anything from the American work culture? Or rather the other way round? “I think there’s something to learn for both sides.” I think the biggest difference is that Americans live to work, and the Dutch work to live. Fifty-hour work weeks and ten vacation days a year aren’t unusual in the US. However, I am of the opinion that working hard doesn’t always mean that more or better work is delivered and that work takes place efficiently, so in this respect I think Americans can learn something from the Dutch work culture. Americans are generally also more commercially oriented than the Dutch; everything is about making money. On the other hand, Dutch people are more innovative and creative and are more willing to think outside the box. I think one of the reasons for this is the hierarchy in the American workplace.”

Dutch adventurer

How do you spend your free time? “I like running. For example, through Central Park. For me this is an outlet and a way to clear my head after a hard day’s work. What also works well for me personally to relax is walking through the town: there’s also something to see and I still stare my eyes out.” Do you have any tips for us when we visit The Big Apple? “Certainly! For lunch it’s ‘Grand Banks’, a boat, it’s really fun. ‘Bar 65’ is a rooftop with a fantastic view over Manhattan. The ‘Metropolitan Museum of Art’ (MET) is my favourite museum. Oh, and don’t forget to visit the rooftop with a spectacular view of Central Park.’

SPECIAL 23


Welkom in de wereld van digitaal zakendoen!

Welcome to the world of digital entrepreneurship!

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Are you selling (your own) products to customers via the internet, phone, physical store and/or webshop?

Voorraad centraal Koppeling ERP (oa Exact/SAP) Alle productinformatie bij elkaar Productinformatie in meerdere talen Webshop(s) Logistieke koppelingen

Dedicated stock management Syncing with ERP (i.e. Exact/SAP) Product information in one place Product descriptions in multiple languages Webshop(s) Logistics integrations

Samen met het World Trade Center Twente biedt UPX een gratis en vrijblijvende QuickScan aan.

UPX is offering a free and non-binding QuickScan together with the World Trade Center Twente

Voor meer informatie en uw aanmelding kunt u naar www.upx.nl/wtc gaan.

For registration and more information please visit www.upx.nl/wtc


Event

Growing in the heart of Brainport Eindhoven

MANAGING BOARD SCHIPHOL TRAVEL

In September, members of WTC Eindhoven enjoyed a ‘FIRST CLASS’ tour to Eindhoven Airport. After a lively reception from the captain & stewardess of WTC-E, Joost Meijs, the director of Eindhoven Airport, took the participants along to the future of the Netherlands’ second airport. With over 80 destinations, the airport is getting the space to develop itself up to more than 6 million passengers and 43.000 flight movements in 2019, and will grow up to 10 million passengers in 2025.

PRESIDENTS MEMBERS ASSOCIATION EINDHOVEN

25


welcome to your new office World Trade Center Rotterdam is the beating heart of the international corporate world in the Rotterdam area. The specific qualities of the building, the many amenities and the globally successful WTC concept make WTC Rotterdam an exciting place. A vibrant business center in the center of Rotterdam, where companies want to be located and with a constant stream of events.

full service business concept

Office space • Flexible workspaces • Business Services • Business Club • Parking facilities • Conference rooms • Meeting rooms • Events • Fitness • Child care • Art Gallery • Restaurants • Shops • International Network

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• Base your business in the heart of Rotterdam and enjoy a full-service package for carefree entrepreneurship. • Rent a flexible workspace at a friendly hourly rate or a fixed monthly rate. • As a WTC tenant or a WTC Business Club member, you are part of a global network. • The full-service Convention Centre with rooms for 10 to 1,000 people is at your disposal.

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WTCROTTERDAM.COM Beursplein 37, P.O. Box 30006, 3001 DA Rotterdam T +31 (0)10 - 405 4444 E offices@wtcrotterdam.com


Column

FROM BRAZIL THROUGH CHINA AND FRANCE TO THE NETHERLANDS The preparations for the coming General Assembly are in full swing. The programme is becoming more and more concrete. At the congress, we will present the Netherlands as a country full of innovations, port to Europe, trade nation and ideal business location. We started a campaign among the global WTCs to bring as many companies as possible to the GA 2018 to grow the WTC network. The first reactions are promising. There has been registrations for delegations from Canada, Brazil, Algeria, China, the US, France, Italy and India. Now it’s important to also make Dutch companies enthusiastic.

For the foreign companies, we are organising a number of inspiration tours on Tuesday 24 April. The water, food & agro, energy and healthcare sectors will be addressed. Together with the sponsors, we visit knowledge institutes and companies, and view example projects. Considering that the whole day is spent together, this is an ideal way of facilitating the exchange of knowledge and contacts. A seven-minute long video was made as an introduction to the Netherlands. This video shows beautiful aerial images. From 20 October, you can also view the video on Youtube. Not to be missed!

On Monday 23 April, we will set up an information square with a number of focus sectors. These are water technology, food & agro, energy, life science and real estate. Companies in these sectors can register for the information square.

We were visited by Alex Brown and Marisa Laurini from the WTC Association visited us to disucss the programme for 2018 GA. In New York, people are very enthusiastic about the innovative elements of this General Assembly. The expectations are high. The central theme for our congress is TRUST. The beginning of any partnership. The delegates and individual companies can register for the congress from the end of October. In April we’ll see whether our efforts and our innovative programme deliver the desired result: putting the Netherlands on the map as a reliable business partner!

Evert Jan Schouwstra Managing Director WTC Leeuwarden More information: www.wtcaga2018.nl

27


28


Interview

‘MY WAY TO THE TOP STARTED FROM THE DAY I WAS BORN’ ON OCTOBER 2, YULIA KARPOVA BECAME THE NEW MANAGING DIRECTOR OF CIS MANAGEMENT. THE NATIVE RUSSIAN GRADUATED AT THE AGE OF 23 FROM THE LAW ACADEMY. SHE ALREADY HAD 5 YEARS OF WORK EXPERIENCE IN RUSSIA BY THE TIME OF HER GRADUATION. “I DIDN’T PLAN MANY THINGS, THEY JUST HAPPENED IN MY LIFE.” Text: Marin van Mensvoort & Lonneke van Knijff | Photography: CIS Management

For example, permanently moving to the Netherlands and continuing her career here. Due to her educational background and work experience, Yulia appears to be qualified to take up the challenge of her new position. She mentions it’s important for her to always move forward, which is why she left Russia to move to the Netherlands in 2009. In 2014 she passed the exams in Dutch language, meaning she gained her Dutch citizenship. Yulia thinks being able to move to a different country is a part of her interest in new challenges and setting new goals. That’s why she’s proud of her persistence, willingness to work hard, eagerness to learn and curiosity. “My way to the top started from the day I was born.” Have you ever experienced difficulties as a woman in your business? “Not really. From the first steps in my career , I made sure men saw me as an equal colleague and partner. Women are changing this man`s world into a better place with equal opportunities. I expect more female presidents within ten years. Nowadays, they are brave enough to propose their candidacy. It’s a slow process. However, it is progressing well. Examples are noticed everywhere – in large corporations, private business or politics.”

Do you have a tip for companies whose male to female ratio is still too high? “Don`t be afraid to be noticed. Speak up! Stop thinking that you are too young or too old to propose your candidacy to some senior position, for instance. Don’t be afraid of the public opinion about this. It’s better to regret when you try and fail rather than not trying at all.” What makes CIS Management and you such a good match? “We are growing and developing together. We are sharing – the company gives me many opportunities, while I am using them to bring up the business to a new professional level. In other words – we are a perfect match!” Which achieved goal are you most proud of? “My appointment as Managing Director of CIS Management B.V. and the wonderful family with two children I have. But there are still goals to attain of course! Gain more experience from daily practice, continue to develop professional skills and share knowledge with my employees. For shortterm goal – our webinar on 6 December 2017 ‘The Netherlands as the gateway to multinational business’ which we are organizing together with our tax partners. Everyone is cordially invited to sign up and join our discussions on this interesting broad topic.”

‘Don`t be afraid to be noticed. Speak up!’

How is the ratio between males and females in your work environment? “During my education, the ratio was 80% women next to 20% men in the class. We have 99% women working in our company at the moment, and we get more female colleagues every year. It’s not on purpose though, but women tend to stay longer in the same company. We also get more female colleagues every year. We are very proud of our female team and our male colleagues are proud as well to be part of it.”

For more information: www.cismanagement.nl

SPECIAL 29


NEXT STOP:

TWENTE

EXPERIENCE THE HOME OF WTC-E

ETN: CONSCIOUS, LOCAL AND RESPONSIBLE Looking for a healthy meal that you can completely customize? At ETN, you choose your own ingredients for a salad the way you want it! The owner, Lotta, puts a lot of love and attention into her cooking and you can taste this. The menu includes various main-meal salads such as Twentse Kip, Lentils Goat Cheese, Veggie Power, and Vegan Quinoa. Haverstraatpassage 26, Enschede

FI•KA COFFEE BAR Brand new and already indispensable: Fi•ka in Enschede. Fi•ka is a Swedish term for a cosy coffee moment. The owner, Henrike, wanted to turn this coffee moment into an experience. The concept is one of the hippest in town: you can drink coffee here, but also buy a unique home accessory. Fi•ka coffee bar - Langestraat 15, Enschede

TWENTE BEER BREWERY – TASTING ROOM It’s a mix between a living room and a beer garden. At the Tasting Room, you can sample delicious specialty beers. Hungry? Dishes like pulled pork or Black Angus beef from Twente end up on your table straight from the Butcher Shop. Recommended: you can sit down for the Sunday Roast every first Sunday of the month. Tuindorpstraat 61, Hengelo 30


Travel OPEN-AIR MUSEUM OOTMARSUM The Ootmarsum Open-Air Museum takes you back to Twente as it used to be. In a park-like environment with 18 authentic buildings, each with its own inventory and story, an interesting picture of life in rural Twente more than 200 years ago is presented. The museum also tells the story of the ‘Heeren’, the governors of the past, the commander, the Drost and the Hofmeier. Commanderieplein 2, Ootmarsum

RIJKSMUSEUM TWENTHE Rijksmuseum Twenthe is a museum for visual arts in Enschede. It has been around since 1930. The basis for the museum was built around some 140 works by Jan Bernard van Heek. Over the last century, the collection has expanded significantly to about 8000 objects from the 13th century up till now. Lasondersingel 129, Enschede

FACTS ABOUT TWENTE ● Comedian Herman Finkers, born in Almelo, regularly paid atten tion to the language and region of Twente during his performances. In a hilarious way, the audience is introduced to the stereotypical image of the Twentenaar: dry humour and a distinctive accent.

WTC TWENTE The WTC Twente is a lively business centre where internationally oriented entrepreneurs, government organisations, service providers and professionals come together. The WTC Twente supports companies from the eastern Netherlands and the German border region in their international activities and ambitions through trade information, trainings and meetings. It partly does this in the form of WTC Twente Business Club and Expat Centre Twente. WTC Twente - Industrieplein 2, Hengelo 31

Twents is a dialect of Lowlands Saxon, an officially recognised language that has variants in both the Netherlands and Germany Twents is spoken in all municipalities of Twente, but there is no standardised version.

● Twente consists of 89 villages and towns.


32


On the move

‘I HAVE ALWAYS FELT WELCOME’ NATALIA FERNANDEZ WAS BORN IN MADRID. WHEN SHE WAS 22 YEARS OLD, SHE DECIDED TO MOVE TO THE NETHERLANDS WITH AN ERASMUS PROGRAM. THERE SHE FINISHED THE LAST YEAR OF HER BACHELOR IN JOURNALISM. SHE CAME ACROSS THE DUTCH COMPANY CATAWIKI, WHERE SHE CURRENTLY WORKS AS CONTENT EDITOR SPANISH AND TRANSLATION COORDINATOR. Text: : Frank van Bergen | Photography: Helen Sandburg

So, what’s your story? “Four years ago, I decided to study the fifth year of my bachelor of Journalism abroad. My sister and me were in Amsterdam for holidays that summer of 2012, and I liked it so much that I decided to go again. At that moment, the University Complutense of Madrid, where I was studying, had an agreement with University of Groningen (RuG). During my time at Erasmus many good things happened: I learnt a lot of the English language, started learning some Dutch and also met my Dutch boyfriend Wessel and his family! I’m living in a beautiful neighbourhood next to the Noorderplantsoen, ten minutes walk from the centre.” Can you tell us more about your workplace? “Catawiki is Europe’s fastest growing online auction house. With over 300 weekly auctions featuring unique items that you cannot find in a normal store. Catawiki is the heaven for collectors and enthusiasts of all kinds: classic cars, art, comics, coins and stamps, cartography, jewellery, fashion and many many more amazing objects! I started in April 2016 as Customer Support Spanish. Seven months later, I moved to the translations team. We have around 150 freelancers that translate all the content into the 17 languages we offer. I’m responsible of reviewing every translation into Spanish, from content for the website, e-mails we send to buyers and sellers, newsletters and much more.” How did you find a place to live? “Even though Groningen is a small city, it’s always full of students. This makes it a bit more difficult to find a place. I came to Groningen two weeks before starting the courses at the university. I always like to have everything planned and coordinated, so I wanted to make sure I was going to have enough time to find the perfect place to live.

It took me exactly three weeks to find a nice place to stay during my Erasmus time, and after that I moved to the place I’m currently living. It’s always hard to look for the ideal place because there is not much to offer and a lot of demand, especially for student rooms or studios. Groningen is also, I would say, the most expensive city here in the north.” Did you have trouble settling in in The Netherlands? “I did not experience any serious problem settling in Groningen. When I came to Groningen, I first subrented a room until I found a place to stay during my time at Erasmus. People living in that house were always super nice to me, and I always felt welcome. The University of Groningen (RuG) also organised many events to make the international students feel welcome and introduced them to the Dutch way of life. It was definitely a fun year!” How different is The Netherlands compared to Spain? “The major difference for me was the timing of the day. In Spain, the main meal is around 14:00-15:00h and a small dinner around 21:00-22:00h. Here the timing is completely different, but I adapted to it since the beginning and if I’m honest, I really love it! What’s the most outstanding experience you’ve had with the Dutch? “When you meet someone Dutch, never give them two or three kisses! You’ll scare them! Dutch people are always keeping their distance, so I had to get used to shaking hands with everybody! Back in Spain, people can find this rude. Work is also very important for the Dutch, sometimes too much! For example, in Spain, when you meet your family or you’re having a drink with your friends, you talk about many personal things, but rarely about work. Dutch people always keep the distance and it takes a very long time until you can talk about more personal things.”

SPECIAL 33


BUSINESS TALK WTC-NL asked 8 women the following questions

Text: Roy Coomans

1.How is the male/female ratio within your company? 2.Have you ever experienced problems as a woman within your position or company? 3.What would you give as a tip to companies where the male/female unbalance is still too big?

WTC THE HAGUE Elsine van Os, founder of Signpost Six

WTC EINDHOVEN

1. Our division is about 50/50. The security business is a man’s world, but we focus on the ‘human factor’. This expertise is often carried out by a woman. It’s hard to find good staff, that’s why I work together with a partner in the US, as there is more expertise there. But I want to say up front that I don’t see myself as different from anyone else. This might be the case in reality, but I don’t want to fight that male/female battle. I prefer focusing on work. 2. I faced a lot of challenges during my career at the Military Intelligence and Shell International. Let’s just say that it’s a big challenge to be viewed as an equal partner and especially to be taken seriously. This is extra difficult for some men when their boss is a woman that doesn’t benefit their status in some countries. 3. There should be female role models. Other women have to be able to look up to them and more importantly they have to be approachable. Not every top woman is suitable. Some have become so masculine that they don’t want to be associated with femininity.

1. There are 7 women and 78 men working at the Hoffmann group. This isn’t a strange ratio because we work in construction. This men’s world doesn’t appeal to many women, but I still really enjoy working with men. 2. At the beginning of my career, I considered quitting. Men wondered what I was doing in construction and they tested me. Luckily, men started valuing me; they know me. I’ve been working in the industry for quite some time now and I’ve proven myself. 3. A company’s management should consist of males and females. They think very differently, have different insights and go about things in a different way. This combination is the basis of good management.

Winny Hoffmann, CEO Hoffmann Groep 34


Business talk

WTC SCHIPHOL Saskia Davids, Human Resources Manager at Wereldhave

WTC AMSTERDAM Stella Koedam, Owner Stella Agency Hospitality & staffing

WTC ALMERE Lyda Smits, owner of Excellent-She

1. You might expect many men to be working in real estate. That used to be the case at Wereldhave up until a few years ago. Now we employ as many women as men. This is partly because of our focus on commercial real estate and because we have in-house operational management expertise. Women work throughout the organisation in different disciplines such as Leasing, Asset Management, Development, Finance, Marketing, Legal and HR. Our goal is have at least 33% women in management positions. 2. No, I have never experienced it like that. I get enough opportunities to develop myself and engage in new challenges. If you fit with the DNA of Wereldhave, there are as many opportunities for women as for men. 3. Always keep looking at the competencies that are necessary for a position and to be successful in the company. That has to be the main focus. After that pay attention to the male/female balance. My experience is that if a company is too focused on recruiting a female or male, it will not always lead to the right candidate at the right place. Maybe your male/female ratio is in balance then, but it will not automatically lead to a right group dynamics within your company.

1. We provide hostesses for all kinds of events. The demand for female hostesses is much higher than that for male hosts. Women are especially deployed in the area of front-office activities. Customers who regularly organise events sometimes choose a male to go along, but even then the ratio is still usually three ladies to one gentleman. 2. No, being a woman usually works in my advantage. I’ve been doing this work for so many years; I’ve built up a good reputation so clients know what to expect. We as women shouldn’t be naive and should see the advantages of being a woman, so just use your female charms. Whether I have to prove myself more than a man? Well, no, I’ve brought in some large clients in the last few years, and I’ve certainly had to prove myself, but that wouldn’t have been different as a man. 3. Look for balance and try to deviate from the established stereotypes. Put a man in a socially constructed female function, or vice versa. What’s wrong a representative gentleman in a secretarial function?

1. I haven’t had any staff over the last years, so the answer is simple. But as an interim manager and advisor of strategic organisational development, I see that the ratio is not in balance at most companies. I see too many men, especially with regards to high management and director positions. 2. I would be lying if I denied this. Despite being from a male family, having been stimulated by male managers to keep developing myself and having worked in masculine organisations, I also ran into power blocks, I’ve also suffered from impeding convictions, both with regards to myself and my male colleagues, managers or clients. I recognize what I used to run into in the past among many female professionals I supervise in trainings. Here we work on themes like masculinity within organisations, role patterns, ambitions and leadership styles. With the goal of creating the right mindset and developing a personal strategy to reach the intended position. 3. Invest in female managers and professionals. Challenge her, discuss what she is running into and stimulate her in taking the next step in her career. And get out of your comfort zone as a man as well, everyone benefits from this. 35


WTC LEEUWARDEN

FOTO: ACADEMIE VOOR DE RECHTSPRAKTIJK

Anke-Mare Haanstra, general director Laboratorium Medisan

WTC ROTTERDAM Ancella Klunne, co-founder Staal Advocaten

WTC TWENTE

1. The ratio is actually more or less equal. At the moment we employ slightly more women; the ratio is around 40/60. I also don’t have much influence on this specific ratio, because when I send out a job opening for a technical function, men are more likely to respond. In many cases I also just really like working with men; women can still learn a lot from their honesty. 2. I was young when I took over the function of director from my father. Many people thought I was a youngster and were of course used to my father as the face of the company. I had to prove myself and worked hard. In the end, it was all worth it. 3. Give everyone a change. Gender doesn’t necessarily matter, it’s about the individual. And sometimes, everything depends on a certain situation. Look at me, I immediately had to take over the management of the company.If that hadn’t been the case, my life would have been very different now, and a man might have had my position.

1. Our office is 100% female. And no, this isn’t a conscious choice. I started Staal Advocaten with former colleagues in 2014. We have a personal and professional click, we just haven’t found a man yet with whom we share this special connection. Because to be clear; men are also welcome at Staal Advocaten. Still, only working with females also has its charm, they call us; ‘that female firm in the construction industry’. 2. Once I was meeting our client together with my male colleague and the client then says to my colleague, ‘Which charming assistant did you bring along?’. This funny example is as far as it goes. Men accept me; I go to court as a professional, not as a woman. 3. Balance is important and benefits operation. This would also be the case for us because I’m convinced that men and women bring out the best in each other and complement each other when necessary.

1. At our company, about 90% is male and 10% is female. We’re talking about heavy technological issues, so this ratio isn’t odd. It’s just really a man’s world, and I feel very honoured to be able to contribute to this. 2. I’ve never experienced problems, but you have to apply yourself 150% as a woman and perform up to standard, or you won’t make it. Still, it feels like a privilege to do what I do every day. I speak to top management every day, usually men. But it’s still nice to work together with these prominent people. 3. As I said, women may have to put in more effort and prove themselves more than men, although this depends on the industry. It’s still possible for women to reach to the top, if they really want it.

Biba Visnjicki, Business Development Manager Fraunhofer Project Center 37


FROM SECRETARY TO BOARD MEMBER Top woman of the year: Ingrid de Graaf INGRID DE GRAAF (48) IS A MEMBER OF THE BOARD AT AEGON AND CAN RIGHTFULLY BE CALLED A SELF-MADE BUSINESS WOMAN. SHE RECENTLY WAS GIVEN THE TITLE OF ‘TOP WOMAN OF THE YEAR’. “IF YOU HAD TOLD MY 18-YEAR OLD SELF THAT I WOULD ONE DAY BE THE BOSS AT AN INSURANCE COMPANY, I’D HAVE SAID: ‘HOW BORING!’” Text: Ymke Frijters | Photography: AEGON

38


Interview

“To be honest, I was convinced that one of the other two finalists would take the title of top woman of the year. I was genuinely surprised to receive the title. It’s an enormous compliment and I feel flattered”, says De Graaf proudly. “I don’t think I’ve gotten arrogant. I have been overwhelmed by all the media attention. But that does open doors to get direct attention to themes like women at the top.” WOMEN IN THE CORPORATE WORLD If we’re talking about the position of women in the corporate world, De Graaf would like to start on a positive note. “What I find very hopeful that there is an increasing number of girls graduating and who decide to keep working. Also when children enter into the picture. The pond in which we’re fishing is getting bigger and bigger. A point to note is that only 1 in 5 board seats are occupied by women. Even though we all know that teams with more diversity perform better. I help out a bit: when I have two applicants with equal qualities, I often choose the woman. I of course only do this when the woman displays genuine qualities. She can never be a ‘token woman’”. According to De Graaf, women should have more courage to express what they want and sometimes take a stand: “Don’t wait till you’re noticed, claim your success.” ON A STOOL AT THE URINAL She thinks the biggest downside of being a woman is the moment men go to urinate after a meeting. “The conversations continue at the urinal, and I can’t be there for it. Sometimes I’d like to put a stool there!”, the business woman jokes. “But all jokes aside: As a woman, I am . of course, often a minority. While, men in a board room prefer trial and error, women first want to be sure that one can live with the consequences. Not everyone likes this. Still, at times, as a woman, you have to be heard.

ALWAYS FORWARD Ingrid de Graaf proves lthat you don’t always need the education to fit the job. After her studies in Dutch language and literature, she started working as a secretary for a government organisation. “I actually wanted to go in the direction of communication advice,. But it was during an economic downturn that I found it important to be able to generate my own income.” She did realise while applying that there were opportunities for growth within that company. Further along in her career, she got the feeling that she wanted and was able to manage. “I didn’t have a logical education for this, so I had to make sure I ended up in an industry that invested in development. In the late nineties, this was financial services.” She arrived at Delta Lloyd, where during the application she was already making agreements to keep growing “Even during the application process for my current job at Aegon, we talked about the future. For all the jobs that I accepted, I actually didn’t only look at the job, but also the perspective. I’m always working on the next step.”

‘I’m always working on the next step.’

MANAGEMENT À LA INGRID When we ask De Graaf what characterises her as a top woman and manager, she tells her story clearly; after all, this is not the first time she gets to tell it. “According to other people, I have guts and can connect people. I’m clear, but with attention for people. ‘Soft on relations, hard on content’ I call this. I like to see results and believe that people need focus to achieve this. It’s good to determine together where we’re going and make sure we arrive together. And I of course think it’s important for clients to be satisfied. I think it’s important to have an exemplary role and to employ the right management techniques. I often turn it around: how would I want to be managed?”

SPECIAL 39


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World Trade Center Almere P.J. Oudweg 4 1314 CH Almere +31 (0)36 548 25 00 welcome@wtcalmere.nl www.wtcalmere.nl

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World Trade Center Leeuwarden Heliconweg 52 8914 AT Leeuwarden +31 (0)58 294 16 10 wtc@wtcleeuwarden.nl www.wtcl.nl

World Trade Center Twente Prins Bernhardplantsoen 308 7551 HT Hengelo +31 (0)74 291 56 04 info@wtctwente.eu www.wtctwente.eu

 www.wtcnl.com

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FACTS & FIGURES ABOUT GIBRALTAR WORLD TRADE CENTER

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WTCA Abroad

The construction process involved more than 1 million work hours The building has 7,000m3 of concrete (enough to fill 3 Olympic swimming pools)

9 minutes from the international airport

It has a biometric, swipe card or

It has over ¼ million meters of rebar

similar system throughout

and enough wiring to wrap the building 1,800 times

Gibraltar is an established, OECD white-listed jurisdiction that offers an attractive tax regime to companies and their employees. Both benefit from 10% corporation tax, 0% VAT 0%

10 minutes from the border

capital gains tax, 0% wealth tax, 0% inheritance tax

with Spain

It has an on-site power generator

WaveCrest is a Gibraltar based, FinTech provider of safe and more cost-effective payment solutions with incredibly fast expansion in the last 12 months. “For WaveCrest, selecting the World Trade Center as the location to facilitate the future growth of our business was an easy decision”, says Brent Almeida - Chief Executive Officer

WTC Gibraltar is now over 98% occupied, following its completion and official launch on 15th February 2017 WTC Gibraltar is also home to many recognised international brands, such as the online gaming leader BetVictor, occupying more than 3,000m2 in the building and accommodating over 350 employees. Also, NetEnt - a Swedish company with offices in Sweden, Poland, Ukraine, Malta and now in Gibraltar 43

LOCATION 6 Bayside Road Gibraltar www.worldtradecenter.gi


Profile for Asega Media & Communication

WTC-NL Magazine #6  

WTC-NL Magazine #6 | World Trade Center Magazine | Special Women in Business | ASEGA Media & Communication

WTC-NL Magazine #6  

WTC-NL Magazine #6 | World Trade Center Magazine | Special Women in Business | ASEGA Media & Communication