RightBrains Career Guide

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Career Guide Inspiring stories from role models in digital technology



Career Guide Inspiring stories from role models in digital technology

Contents From idea to career guide Geke Rosier, Tessa van Balen,


Open your mind to the opportunities within digital technology Geke Rosier,



Entrepreneurship To create value in the digital era, ­d iversity and soft skills are imperative Ayman van Bregt,


Creative thinking and software ­d evelopment skills make us a s­ uccessful team Sharina Kiesebrink, Jessica Eijgelsheim, Copyright 2017, RightBrains

Editor: Samantha Mendaros, The Missing Ink Project Managers: Monique van den Oord, Dirk doet and Tessa van Balen, RightBrains

To lead i­ nnovation we must look for t­ alent in u ­ nexpected places

Photography: Arnold Reyneveld, Studio Reyneveld

Anouk Vos,

ISBN: 978 90 8277 500 6 NUR: 801



Design: Dirk doet

Print production: Wöhrmann



We combine coding with c­ reativity and empathy to best serve our customers Daniëlle Graat,



From IT procurement to start-up consulting Kim van der Hoek,



Why I quit the fashion industry to work in technology Mariska van Bohemen,

Author: Geke Rosier, RightBrains





Digital Leadership

Rapid advancements in technology are changing how ­b usinesses innovate Jan Veldsink,


We design ­i nformation s­ ystems that help our asset managers do their job



Harriet van der Winden,


The days of command-and-control, winner-take-all leadership are over


Jeroen van der Velden, EXPERT DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION AND STRATEGY I help customers seize their ­d igital ­p otential and create a better-connected world



What intrigues me most is the human element of digital transformation



As new driving technologies emerge, we train drivers and keep the roads safe Larisa Wentholt,



We had to break all the rules to become truly digital Claudia Hoogwerf, Karin Croon, Liubov Kononenko, How we used ­a gile to disrupt an industry Gerhard van der Bijl,

We need to ­d ebunk the myths about who belongs in tech








As a global m ­ anager, I aim to help and empower others



We must step out of our comfort zone to see what we’re ­c apable of Corry Wouters,



Esther Splinter,

Bringing d ­ igital ­s olutions to healthcare

Mimoent Haddouti,


With data ­s cience, we p ­ rovide unforgettable holidays for our guests

Ilse Spoelstra,


Denise Edwards, Eline Brandt,


I work at the edge of ­b usiness and technology Femke Jacobs,


Cathy Boers , CISCO


Anneke Schings,

It’s time to reinvent the workplace to ­u nlock the potential of diversity Kay Formanek,


How our innovation culture helps us serve our customers’ needs Renate Klein,




A big thank you


About the author


About the editor


Geke Rosier Tessa van Balen RightBrains

From idea to career guide Many of you have probably had great ideas. At the

We put together this book in six months. It was the

beginning of this year, our team also had a great idea:

result of great teamwork. We would like to thank our

we wanted to create a beautiful and inspiring career

sponsor organisations for their support and their

guide. Why? Even today, many women have a negative

prompt communication throughout the interview and

perception of careers in digital technology. Very few

photography process. A very special acknowledgement

choose a career in this field from the start. We want

goes out to Samantha Mendaros, who did a tremendous

to change this. By sharing the inspiring stories of role

and professional job as the editor of this book. Last

models who work in digital technology, we want to

but not least, Monique van den Oord and her team did

contribute to a better and broader perspective of this

a wonderful task handling the project management,

field and the career opportunities within it. Our goal

design, production and distribution.

is to show our readers that working in technology can mean so much more than sitting behind a computer coding software all day.

Geke Rosier and Tessa van Balen



Geke Rosier Founder RightBrains

Open your mind to the opportunities within digital technology Like most women I know, I started my career in digital technology by coincidence. I studied business administration at Nyenrode and earned my master’s degree in international management.

My true passion is strategic marketing. My first job was in product development at a large cosmetics firm in Germany and the UK. When I moved back to the Netherlands, my university friend referred me for a job at Microsoft. For the first time, Microsoft was bringing software products like games, joysticks, encyclopaedia, route planners and educational software to the consumer market. Since I had experience in consumer marketing, I was hired to undertake this challenge. This was my first job with a technology company. Mind you, it was 1995, when software products were sold in big boxes at retail stores. In 1998, I had my first child who was born at seven months. I received a visit from my new boss, who kindly requested that I look for a new job that was better suited to a mother with a young child. That was my first career hiccup, if one can call it that.


Out of the blue, I had to start thinking about my next career step.



to fill today’s digital jobs. The number of women who

can combine right-brain competencies like creativity,

choose a career in digital technology is still very low. In

intuition, agility and open-mindedness with your fluency

the Netherlands, women comprise only twelve percent

in the digital world to add value in organisations. In

of the digital workforce and hold only six percent of

2015, we launched the RightBrains Digital Leadership

management roles in this field. The reasons for this

Programme as the first component of our CIAO

are complex. Especially in the Netherlands, there

Academy. This year-long programme is designed to

is an unconscious bias that women are not strong in

educate managers about the latest technologies and

STEM (science, technology, engineering, maths). Few

their impact on strategy, business models, marketing,

women choose to pursue these studies. The result is

organisations and leadership. The modules are taught

a seemingly male-dominated industry. At RightBrains,

by prominent Nyenrode Business University lecturers

one of our primary goals is to change these perceptions

and experts in the field of digital technology and

by letting women role models tell inspiring stories on

leadership. The stories in Chapter Three discuss digital

our platform. We also invite experts to write articles

transformation, its impact on culture and the need for

important career competences

informing our readers of the latest technology trends

you to become part of a new generation of digital talent.

In spring 2000, the dot-com bubble burst. I began

and how they will affect people, management and jobs.

working with large financial organisations who wished

With this information, we hope to encourage a much

More women in digital technology will eventually lead

To be honest, I had no clue where to begin. I started networking with many different people. Speaking with them gave me new insight into the different jobs available. Because I love marketing, I was considering working as a marketing recruiter. Then I met an experienced recruiter who suggested that I become a marketing consultant for IT organisations. This was the best advice I could have received and an important tipping point in my career. For the next four years, I helped technology start-ups tackle their marketing strategy and positioning challenges. A strong network, an open mind and courage are

to align their IT operations with their business goals.

As I look back at my career and where it has brought me

broader view of digital career opportunities. This is

to greater team diversity

I found myself with a unique opportunity to start my own

today, I want to share some important messages with a

also why RightBrains is launching this career guide.

We all know that diversity leads to more innovation

consulting company. Was it always my dream or plan

younger generation of readers. First of all, networking

In Chapter Two, you can read the inspiring stories

and greater success for organisations. Many studies

to become an entrepreneur? No. I had never thought

is critical as you navigate your career. Second, if an

of women who are working at the edge of business

have confirmed this result. Unfortunately, when we

of it until the moment of opportunity presented itself.

interesting opportunity comes by, go for it. And, last but

and information technology. In their work, they use

look at the field of digital technology, there is very little

However, I was excited about the prospect and I took it.

not least, don’t be afraid to work in digital technology.

technology to enable innovation and create new

diversity, not only with respect to gender diversity but

Over the course of a decade, I worked with many women,

This last piece of advice is something that the role

products and services.

also to diversity in perspective and experience. Much

but I observed that very few attended industry events.

models in this guide repeatedly say. In Chapter One, you

I began doing research and was surprised to learn about

can read the stories of women who, like me, decided to

The speed of technological innovation requires

culture where women feel they don’t belong. The

the lack of diversity in STEM fields. After ten years of

change their career paths and became entrepreneurs.

continuous learning

women in Chapter Four share their experiences

You may have heard the term continuous learning. It’s

and how they work within their own organisations

consulting in the area of business and IT alignment,


of this is caused by unconscious bias and a masculine

I decided it was time for a new journey. In 2014, I founded

RightBrains inspires, educates and connects women

not a new concept, but one that organisations have

to encourage diversity, open up the playing field and

RightBrains with an important economic mission: to

who are passionate about digital technology

largely neglected over the past decade. This is why new

change perceptions about careers in digital technology.

expand the pool of digital talent by attracting more

When I started RightBrains, my dream was to create

technology players have been able to disrupt entire

women to the field.

an environment where women at different stages in

industries, including music, travel and retail. This is

their careers could become connected, inspired and

also why there is currently a war for digital talent. This

educated. There’s simply not enough digital talent

is where you, the reader, come in. As a digital native, you

Geke Rosier 13

Entrepreneurship The digital revolution demands a new way of interacting with ­customers. In the digital era, diversity and the development of soft skills, such as creativity, experimentation and empathy, enable organisations to better meet their customers’ diverse demands and continuously changing behaviour. The women featured in this chapter tell their stories about why they made the switch to technology and decided to become entrepreneurs.

TO CREATE VALUE IN THE DIGITAL ERA, ­DIVERSITY AND SOFT SKILLS ARE IMPERATIVE Ayman van Bregt is a digital strategist, founder of Ignite.cx and co-founder of the Dutch Social Media Academy. As a trainer and coach, he helps leaders and organisations take the next step in their digital evolution by teaching them how to generate insights from social and digital media and create value for their customers. Ayman has written ­numerous books on digital marketing and social media, and his knowledge is being ­applied at several business schools throughout Western Europe. He is a core lecturer for the RightBrains Digital Leadership Programme.

Ayman van Bregt Expert Digital Strategy

How is the rise of digital technology changing how the

What intrigues me about this area is that as more of

market interacts with its customers?

our interaction happens between screens, the need for

If you look at the industry at this moment, the focus

empathy and meaningful human connection becomes

is largely on making people obsolete. Everywhere you

imperative. Within this vacuum, organisations have a

look, companies are digitalising products, services and

compelling opportunity to reconnect with customers

customer care. In a way, this is very logical: it makes

in deeper and unexpected ways by creating real value

sense to digitalise because we spend so much time

for them. Customers still demand services, but the

on our mobile phones. However, as a result, human

services are more diversified and spread across

interaction is becoming scarcer and scarcer.

multiple channels and touch points.




In a world where everything is digital and human

better serve them. From a business perspective, this

What role does diversity play in organisations’ ability


interaction is rare, it’s important for organisations

will likely enable organisations to achieve higher profits

to meet the challenges of marketing in the digital age?


to think about how they can show they care for their

with reduced marketing budgets.

In the eighties and nineties, we used to segment our

changing behaviour. Instead of mass markets, we will

customers. To become valuable, organisations must

target groups. We’ve moved far beyond that. Online,

see the development of niche markets. Companies that

place the behaviour of their target audience at the heart

who is anyone to decide who should use or purchase

can meet the demand of multiple niche markets can

of their digital strategy. This is different from customer

a product? We live in a globalised world – one where

then build mass demand. This brings us back to the

centricity, which focuses on putting the customer first.

anyone who wants to can compete and where customers

need for soft skills.

As a consequence of these digital developments, how will the role of the marketer change over the coming years? The World Economic Forum predicted that within the next decade, there will be an artificial intelligence (AI) machine sitting in the boardroom and participating as a member of the C-level team. That’s a very intriguing picture. As human beings, we feel anxiety over whether we can trust these data and these technologies, but we know that we must evolve and invest heavily in AI because we cannot move forward without machines. These technologies are already everywhere around us. Cars feature augmented reality displays that


blend digital and physical spaces. Robots are everyday features of our lives – if not in their physical form, then in the form of chat-bots, smart-home technologies and recommendation engines.

As machines take over the data side, it will be our job to focus on the human side. Empathy will be a critical


Ten years from now, a marketer won’t have to read any

competence for the marketers of the future, as their

data because a machine will provide it. As a marketer,

job will be to create a human feeling within digital

this means you will be able to make better choices. The

interaction. This shift demands a different view of

trial-and-error part can be skipped to a certain degree,

skills development. Soft skills are becoming more and

which means that if you manage your data well, then

more important in order for people to keep up with the

you can accurately predict which groups will behave in

demanding change that organisations are forced to

what ways. You can therefore anticipate their needs and


enables diverse

organisations demands

to and




can emerge from any space. Consumer behaviour has also changed: we live in an instant gratification economy in which people demand products that suit them. If the way to create value is to develop a thorough and

Ayman van Bregt

wide understanding of what your users demand and expect of you, then diversity – not only in gender but also in race, religion and culture – will be a critical part of organisations’ ability to reach their customers.


Sharina Kiesebrink Jessica Eijgelsheim Founders Code Qube


Sharina Kiesebrink and Jessica Eijgelsheim developed the Code Qube, an interactive lesson that teaches primary school children how to build a website using HTML and CSS. Combining their coding and design skills, they invented a tool to introduce young children to the world of technology.

How did you come up with the idea for the Code Qube?

way. It could be physical, like putting together puzzle

Sharina: Before we were business partners, we were

pieces. We started from there.

best friends. We met on the first day of university and clicked instantly. Though we both studied

The Code Qube teaches children to code in three steps.

communications and multimedia design, I followed the

First, they’re introduced to the code through a video and

design track, while Jessica learned to code. One day, we

games. Then, they use what they’ve learned to build

decided we wanted to combine our skills for our final

their own code by writing with markers and rearranging

project and graduate together.

magnets on a board. In the final step, they make it digital: they type the code onto a tablet and create their

Jessica: We learned programming from behind a

own website.

computer. A teacher projected the code on a big screen, and we typed it over and over again. After one lesson, we thought, this could be taught in a totally different




Were you nervous the first time you brought the Code

looked at each other and mouthed, ‘Nope!’ But once we

have to do research and audition and find your own way

we needed a 3D drawing for our prototype, we brought

Qube to a classroom?

started, we realised how great it is to be your own boss

to get something out of it.

our concept to a local business. The owner said, ‘You’re

Jessica: Our first lesson was a complete failure! We

and make your own decisions. We do have to work a

brought the Code Qube to a school, and the children

lot. When you work for a boss, you can go home after

Have you faced any challenges because of your age?

to encourage you, so we’ll have an intern do this for

weren’t engaged at all. After this, we went back to the

a long day and forget about your job. But as business

Jessica: Sometimes people don’t take us seriously

free.’ It’s really nice to know there are people out there

drawing board. We began consulting with teachers to

owners, even if we’re tired, we have to open the emails

because we’re so young and because we’re women in

rooting for us to succeed.

see what teaching methods work. We also observed the

and answer the calls.

technology. They think we do this as a hobby, but they

children and asked them about how they like to learn.

so young, and you have such a great idea. We want

don’t understand that we are launching a business. We

What advice do you have for young people who want to

We repeated this ten times. Eventually, we developed

Jessica: Your own business never stops. It’s 24/7.

had to learn how to value our time and our efforts and

start their own businesses?

the tools that the children wanted and needed to learn.

We’re always WhatsApping each other our ideas in

how to say no to people. This is a negative aspect of

Jessica: It’s really important to believe in your own idea.

We began to see our methods working.

the middle of the night. We often kiss our weekends

being young.

When we decided to turn our project into a business, one of our teachers told us our idea was dumb and

goodbye because we have to work. There’s also the How are your lives as entrepreneurs different from

administrative side. We had to learn how to market our

Sharina: But there’s also a flip-side. We stand out

that it wouldn’t work. We could have believed her and

those of your friends who work for established

product and do taxes. In the end, though, we love it.

because we’re young and we’re women. We’ve found

stopped right then and there – but we were stubborn.


Every day is different. One week, we could be working

that because of this, people also want to help us. When

We’ve learned that you have to stand by your own ideas,

Sharina: Before this all began, we had no intention of

in a classroom with thirty children, and the next week,

starting our own business. In fact, we took a business

we could be teaching five kids with very high IQs. The

class at university, and when the teacher asked if

variety makes it fun. It’s also funny to see what the kids

anyone in the class wanted to be an entrepreneur, we

create. We must have seen hundred websites about games. Things like this keep it light. What resources helped you as you established your


company? Sharina: In the beginning, we had several mentors. We joined Starterslift, a group that helps young entrepreneurs. It helped to have people to fall back on and ask our questions. They helped us trademark our name, set up our administration and learn about running a business. We also pitched our product at competitions, through which we won office space and

even if others tell you that you won’t succeed. Sharina: Keep in mind that you’ll have to work at


it. Maybe as you go, you’ll see that you have to do it differently. You may have to scrap it, try all over again and do it better. That’s another important point: you have to learn to be okay with making mistakes. You have to make mistakes to learn anything. We are still learning, and the learning never stops.

Sharina Kiesebrink and Jessica ­Eijgelsheim

funding for our first prototype. There are many resources out there for young entrepreneurs, but nobody comes to you asking if you want to take advantage of them. You


Why I quit the fashion industry to work in

technology After studying fashion for eight years, Mariska van Bohemen discovered a passion for data science and its potential to revolutionise personal privacy. In 2013, she founded Dime – Data Is Me, a platform that gives individuals back control over their data.

What drove you to pursue a career in digital

of what we can do with data science, after all. With this


epiphany, I decided to quit the fashion industry and try

From a very young age, I wanted to work in fashion.

something different.

I worked in the industry for nearly a decade, but I eventually reached a point where I no longer truly

Why is Dime an important start-up to watch in 2017?

enjoyed my work. After taking time off, I decided to

Right now, data trading resides within a grey area.

change tracks and study media communication and

Companies sell private individuals’ online information

information ­technology.

every day, and the owners almost never know what happens to it. Moreover, companies are being

Mariska van Bohemen Founder Dime – Data Is Me

During one lesson, we were asked to create an innovative

increasingly criticised for how they treat personal data.

concept for the information industry. I had always been

Dime changes this.

frustrated with companies like Google and Facebook for profiting from our information. I asked myself, ‘What

We seek to create a fair market for personal data.

if we could earn money by brokering our information

With our user-friendly platform, private individuals

ourselves?’ We are living in a totally new world in terms

can decide what personal data to share and can earn



money for doing so. At the other end, companies can request access to comprehensive, honestly obtained information. As part of our service, we ensure that the data is secure and useful. What obstacles have you had to overcome in launching your own company? To be a woman entrepreneur, you need guts and passion for your idea. I’ve found that women must often go further to prove themselves. Reporters who call for interviews are often surprised that I, as a


woman, am the founder. In other cases, reporters call because they consider a woman founder unusual and worthy of attention. Though this can be disheartening, I draw strength from seeing other women express passion for their own initiatives. I enjoy attending pitch

Finally, as you navigate the professional world, don’t

competitions. When I see women participating, I feel

limit yourself because of your past choices. It’s okay to

solidarity, and this gives me the energy to stay strong.

change your path. My coach taught me that all you can ever do is take small steps in the right direction. It takes

What advice do you have for young entrepreneurs?

a lot of time to do things right.

Be sure people know you. When I switched from fashion to technology, I wanted people in the industry to know about me and my ambitions. I sought out executives and entrepreneurs on LinkedIn and at events and had conversations with them. In some cases, I asked them to coach me on topics like strategy, sales and sourcing

Mariska van Bohemen


the right knowledge. Once people know you, when they come across an opportunity, they will call you instead of someone else.

Corinne Vigreux Co-Founder TomTom 26


IT procurement

to start-up consulting

As an independent consultant, Kim van der Hoek helps young companies make corporate deals. By guiding start-up leaders in how to negotiate and build authentic business relationships, she facilitates sustainable collaboration and growth.

Kim van der Hoek Owner Spice Consultancy

What made you decide to become an entrepreneur?

How do you use your insights and experience to help

I worked in IT procurement for ten years, mostly within

start-up leaders get ahead?

KPN and other large companies. Towards the end,

There’s quite a lot of hype around start-ups. They receive

I worked primarily with innovation and tech companies.

a lot of attention from investors through incubator and

I began to realise that the start-ups I worked with

accelerator programmes. However, when I ask start-up

lacked the skills and experience to negotiate with

leaders if they’ve had any training in how to create

more established companies. They would ask me for

sustainable deals, the answer is always no. In fact,

guidance: How does this work? What is the negotiations

when I mention that I provide this training, everybody

process like? What should I expect? What are the do’s

wants to work with me because nobody else offers it.

and don’ts? In the end, I found myself negotiating side by side with these start-ups, and I really enjoyed it.

Most of these start-up leaders are young people. They

That’s when I decided to quit my job and start training

have maybe two or three years of work experience, and

tech companies in the art of making deals.

they generally have no idea how large companies work. I know there is a niche for what I do in this area.




I always say that if you don’t understand relationships,

most young girls are not encouraged to explore

What should young women think about as they begin

then you don’t understand business. I don’t believe in the

programming in a fun way. Programming, gaming and

their careers?

old school way of doing business, in which negotiations

hacking are all presented in ways that appeal to boys

It’s important to have an awareness of the different kinds

focus on winners, losers and price tags. I believe that

rather than girls.

of companies and jobs there are out there. Each type of

authentic business relationships and mutual trust are

organisation has a unique company culture and offers

the foundation of sustainable partnerships. With these

More needs to be done, especially at the middle school

a unique set of opportunities. For example, working for

as a starting point, both parties can achieve much more.

level, to teach children that programming is for everyone.

corporate institutions like banks or big telecoms will

It’s a public relations issue, really. We need to change

offer insight into how large companies make decisions.

How is your life as an entrepreneur different from

perceptions and show young girls that programming is

Consulting roles will give you the chance to look inside

your life as an employee?

a woman’s world too. We do this by showing them the

a lot of companies. Governmental organisations will

I don’t have a nine-to-five job, and I don’t want one

many opportunities within technology and by providing

have a completely different company culture, as will

anymore. I like the flexibility of having my own company.

strong role models.

tech start-ups. It’s important to keep this in mind as

I’m able to spend my free time doing things for myself,

you figure out what suits you.

such as sports or networking, and I have time to spend with the people who are important to me, like my family and friends. I don’t like to be in offices all day, where my output and value are measured in the number of hours I sit behind a desk. I like to be more efficient with my time. Now, I have four client companies. Although I try to set a schedule, it’s often impossible because everyone has such different schedules. I need to be very flexible. Some people might get stressed by this, but I thrive on it. What needs to be done to address the gender imbalance within STEM fields?


Kim van der Hoek

I have two stepchildren, a ten-year-old boy and a sevenyear-old girl. We are already teaching them to program. The girl started at age six, and she enjoys it more than her brother does. However, I think this is an exception:



WE COMBINE CODING WITH ­CREATIVITY AND EMPATHY TO BEST SERVE OUR CUSTOMERS As the Director of First8 and Conclusion BAM (Business Application Modelling), Daniëlle Graat heads two different technology companies that help businesses stay ahead in a changing market. She believes that diversity in gender, age and culture are critical to an organisation’s ability to serve its customers.

What is your role at Conclusion? What makes it a great

tailor-made solutions in Mendix and OutSystems. I am

place to work?

also the Director of First8, where our Java and open

Conclusion isn’t just any corporate organisation or

source experts assist companies with large custom

IT company. It’s a collection of eighteen independent

projects, particularly ones that involve a degree of

companies, each with its own team and specialisation.

complexity, integration and security.

By remaining separate and dynamic instead of merging

Daniëlle Graat Director Conclusion BAM

into one single company, we are able to flex and adapt

I am proud of the people on my teams. They are

according to our clients’ needs.

dedicated to their work, and they build amazing applications for and with our customers. Empathy is a

Within this ecosystem, I lead two companies in

very important competence on our team. We listen to

developing system applications that enable businesses

each other and celebrate our projects, our successes

to stay ahead in an ever-changing market. I am the

and our birthdays. This positive working environment

Director of Conclusion BAM, where my teams build

is one reason I enjoy coming into the office every day.




Even in 2017, it is uncommon to see women directing

skills remain necessary, they must be combined with

How do you promote diversity on your teams?


technology companies. How did you come to direct

communication skills, business sense, creativity and

In only a few years, the way we work on our teams and

Amsterdam (UvA) and the Dutch government, we retrain


empathy. This change is opening up a host of new

with our customers has changed dramatically, and the

neurobiology, psychology and history students, among

When I started at Conclusion two years ago, none of the

opportunities within digital technology.

demand for competences has changed along with it.

others, as software developers. These are typically

companies within our ecosystem were using the rapidly

In our line of work, being successful means effectively

people who developed a passion for programming

emerging Mendix or OutSystems technologies. From

combining creativity, design, technique, communication

outside their formal study. Through a year-long

scratch, I built a company of fifteen people to lead the

and empathy. In this respect, diversity in gender, age

programme, these individuals attend five months of full-

and culture is critical. If everyone on a team thinks the

time training at UvA. Afterwards, they begin working at

same way, a lot of creativity is missed. That’s why I look

Conclusion four days per week while continuing their

for individuals with varied skills and backgrounds when

studies at UvA one day per week. In addition to training,

I build my teams. This ensures we can have the right

we have an in-house mentor programme, through

discussions and create the best applications for our

which we offer support and development opportunities


to professionals who are new to the field and want to

charge. Once the team was up and running, I wanted to take on another challenge in parallel to this role and have more responsibility. I approached the Conclusion CEO, shared my ambitions and asked for an opportunity. When the First8 director resigned a few weeks later, I got what I asked for and was named the company’s new director. Throughout my career, I’ve learned that there are many chances, but you must take them yourself. That’s why I enjoy working at Conclusion – if you take initiative, you are rewarded with opportunity. In taking on these director roles, I’ve developed a feeling of ownership for both Conclusion BAM and First8. I lead these companies


as if they were my own, which means that I have great






begin their careers with us. I want young people, and young women in particular, to know that you don’t have to pursue a computer s­ cience study to succeed in technology. I sure didn’t. When


I ­began my career in IT, I had a great deal to learn. The most important thing to do is give yourself the space to make mistakes, learn and grow. If you can do this, you will go far.

deal of trust and freedom to make decisions. This also means that I can and must make the right choices. I like this aspect very much.


Traditionally, women have been turned off by the technical aspects of coding. I see this gender

How are developments within digital technology

imbalance in my two units, since one uses visual tools

changing the competences needed in the modern

to build solutions while the other relies on traditional


programming. In my experience, communication,

At Conclusion, I truly see the merging of business and

creativity and empathy are areas where women tend

technology, and in this new environment, IT works

to excel. I hope to see more women pursuing these

side by side with businesses to develop solutions that

technology roles.

satisfy their needs. This means that while analytical



Anouk Vos President Women in Cyber Security Foundation

TO LEAD I­NNOVATION, WE MUST LOOK FOR T ­ ALENT IN ­UNEXPECTED PLACES Anouk Vos has more than a decade of experience as a strategic cyber security advisor for international and national governments, multinationals and NGOs. She co-founded the high-tech consultancy Revnext and the non-profit organisation Cyberwerkplaats, which reimagines IT education. She also co-founded the Women in Cyber Security F ­ oundation to foster connections amongst underrepresented women in the field.

How are you helping to reshape how we think about

security needs, a lot of funding goes into traineeships

cyber security through your initiatives Revnext and

and programmes for individuals with advanced


degrees. However, patching and updating systems and

Revnext is a high-tech strategic consultancy. We

looking for vulnerabilities isn’t always rocket science,

combine cyber security with other technologies that

and the best security experts I know don’t have a single

are shaping tomorrow’s world, including forensics,

diploma. Most hackers do it because they have this

transport and logistics, clean tech and e-health.

inner drive to uncover vulnerabilities, and you’re more

However, when we launched Revnext, we didn’t want

likely to find them on the couch playing video games

to launch just any cyber security company. We wanted

than in universities.

to reinvest our profits in social areas that don’t receive much funding – topics we think we will boom in the next

Cyberwerkplaats is an experiment in activating

few years, topics that fascinate us.

untapped talent. We launched the programme in the industrial city of Rotterdam, where many companies

One of the projects we’re co-financing and launching

are looking for IT talent and where there’s a high degree

is Cyberwerkplaats. Because companies tend to seek

of youth dropouts and a large gaming community. The

highly skilled academic staff to manage their cyber

idea is to invite volunteers to our workshop, teach them




basic hacking and IT security skills and then connect

access their money, the entire communications system

We coach women to get on stage as keynote speakers

What advice do you have for young women interested

them with companies looking for new talent. None of

fell and hospitals couldn’t function. This was a new

and panel contributors to increase our representation

in cyber security?

our students pay tuition; our sponsoring companies

frontier in diplomacy, something that was not covered

at cyber security events. We also encourage women to

Not too long ago, I met a woman at a conference who

cover the costs and draw their interns from the group.

in international law. I was fascinated.

share their stories publicly, and we organise teaching

whispered, ‘I’m a bit of a geek, but not really because

sessions at primary and high schools to provide role

I don’t know a lot.’ She was picking a lock to entertain

Nobody knew what to do, so my boss at the time said

models and change the perception that only men work

herself and had the newest game in her black Prada

to me, ‘Anouk, you’re the youngest one here and you

in cyber security.

bag. I said, ‘Who are you calling a non-geek? I don’t

This is the next revolution in IT education.

have the newest phone. You wanted to learn more about


know anyone who carries these things around!’ Women

international diplomacy? Well here’s your chance.

We entered the first-ever all-female hacking team at

tend to be modest, and they are often feel that they have

Go find out as much as you can.’ I was so intrigued

an event in Amsterdam. The organisation was so happy

to self-study for weeks or watch every YouTube tutorial

by everything I learned while researching the case in

to have an all-female team that they literally rolled out

and read every book before whispering that they’re

Estonia, but I was also intrigued because it was a Cyber

interested in a tech career.

Wild West. When there are no rules, everything goes. I knew then that this was what I wanted to do. It was so

If you’re interested, put yourself out there! I’ve found that

much more interesting than traditional diplomacy. That

almost without exception, people have been very willing

was the beginning of my cyber security career. What’s the story behind the Women in Cyber Security Foundation? When I started to teach myself about cyber security ten years ago, I was often the youngest attendee and almost always the only woman. I’d arrive at a venue and


to open up their world to me. Some say that hackers have this hippie mentality, and I think they’re right. Most people don’t realise there are large communities of people who are protecting our data, monitoring our power plants and police systems and working together to make our digital world safe.

people would ask me to hang their coat or make them What drove you to pursue a career in cyber security?

coffee. People didn’t take me seriously because it never

I trained to be a diplomat. I had no intentions at all of

crossed their minds that I belonged there. In 2013, I met

pursuing a career in IT or security. Then, while I was

two other women who shared my experience, and we

a red carpet and set the women on a stage. They hated

completing my first internship at the Dutch Ministry

thought it would be cool to have a network of women to

me for this because they were very self-conscious, but

of Foreign Affairs in 2007, we saw one of the largest-

attend events with. We set a goal to find twenty women,

they were brave and sat there anyway. As they started

ever international cyber-attacks occur in Estonia.

and we didn’t think we would. But after we started

hacking, I watched as women of all ages entered the

Many people don’t know that Estonia is one of the most

recruiting, we hit a snowball effect, eventually reaching

venue and their eyes were immediately drawn to these

connected countries in the world. Banking, voting –

more than eight hundred women worldwide. After that,

women on the stage. I experienced first-hand the effect

you name it, they do it online. After the attack, it was

we had to figure out what to do with this network.

of having simply women on the stage, showing what

as if Estonia were physically bombed. Nobody could


Anouk Vos

they do and providing representation.


Innovation Artificial intelligence, learning algorithms and big data are transforming every aspect of our society and business. The speed of technology requires us to change how we work within organisations and how we approach management. The women interviewed in this chapter tell us how they use new technologies to enable exciting innovations.


RAPID ADVANCEMENTS IN TECHNOLOGY ARE CHANGING HOW ­BUSINESSES INNOVATE Jan Veldsink has more than twenty-five years of experience in digital technology. He has a passion for technology and people, and his areas of expertise include artificial intelligence (AI), intelligent systems, robotics, cyber security, and organisational and group dynamics. As a technical researcher and long-time lecturer at Nyenrode Business University, he teaches core classes and leads student teams in identifying new AI application areas. As a speaker, senior advisor, trainer and coach, his mission is to help teams and organisations develop a safe and sustainable environment. Jan is a core lecturer for the RightBrains Digital Leadership Programme.

Drawing on your extensive experience, what does the future of digital technology look like? How are ­developments in this field revolutionising how we live and work? Artificial intelligence, learning algorithms and big

Jan Veldsink Expert Cyber and Artificial Intelligence

data are transforming every aspect of our society and business. In the coming years, these advanced systems will become more user-friendly without losing their complexity. While there are many expert IT specialists who are capable of building these systems, we must bring them to such a level that business analysts can




operate AI systems like they operate a car, where the

As digital technology transforms the culture and

competences of the individuals on their teams and

In the wake of these changes, we need to restructure

deep technology is hidden.

structure of organisations, what changes can we

allow them to speak up and take initiative. There needs

our approach to education. Learning must be an

expect to see in the workplace?

to be a psychologically safe environment for people to

attitude and a competence: people have to learn how

The most cited examples are Tesla and Google’s self-

We are coming into a new era. For the first time, teams

learn, make mistakes, fail and still come back to the

to learn. We need to encourage a culture of curiosity

driving cars. In both cases, the user commands powerful

are spanning three generations, and employees ranging

conversation. We are shifting towards self-organising

and teach people how to find the resources they need to

AI in the form of optical recognition and reasoning

from their twenties to their sixties must function

teams in which a manager’s primary role is to enable

continually develop.

without knowing that she is driving an advanced

together. This phenomenon requires us to consider new

her team members.

AI machine. Similarly, in precision agriculture, a farmer

dynamics, new management approaches and new ways

may still need to water his crops, but he relies on

of organising teams.

As we change the education system, we need invite in This change is disruptive, and it is already happening

all kinds of people. Diversity in gender, culture, race

drones, infrared maps and other imaging technologies

across many sectors. In response, many organisations

and religion is critical to forming effective teams.

to tell him where to put it.

are experimenting with team dynamics. Flexible and

When we combine different ways of approaching

remote working arrangements are becoming more

problems, we are better equipped to meet the

common. Recruitment is no longer focused on skills,

challenges that lie ahead.

Some online services, like making a dinner reservation or booking a cottage for your summer holiday, have become so commonplace that we’re not even aware of the advanced technologies powering them. These companies are continually collecting data and learning our preferences so they can display the information we want to see. In every sector of our society and business, robotics and


but on competences and personality: Does this person fit within my team? Can she adapt to new ways of working and new technologies? At the same time, employees must consider whether an organisation offers the right culture and resources. More and more,

Jan Veldsink

employment is becoming a two-sided dialogue. How does this fast pace of technological development

AI will play an increasingly significant role. Consequently,

affect how we think about and approach learning and

we will see a rise in multidisciplinary employees and


teams while there will be less employability for people

When I studied, we learned from books and specialists.

with traditional business and coding skills. As we make

According to the twenty-first century skills framework,

Now, I can learn from YouTube tutorials or crowd-source

this shift, we will need to develop new ways of working

the youngest generation tends to be more creative

solutions to my problems. Digitalisation is happening

and leading.

and outspoken about issues related to their work,

fast, and the education system must change along with

and this is dramatically changing management.

it because book-teaching cannot prepare people for the

For example, managers can no longer assign tasks

next twenty years.

or direct employees to work without explanation. Instead, managers need to consider the skills and



HOW OUR Renate Klein Business Consultant Stater

INNOVATION CULTURE HELPS US SERVE OUR CUSTOMERS’ NEEDS Renate Klein is a business consultant on Stater’s innovation and digitalisation team. Every day, she immerses herself in the latest technologies and thinks about how Stater can use these tools to better serve its customers in the Dutch mortgage market.

I learned early in my career that business and IT

My team and I have a great deal of freedom when it

are traditionally different worlds with very different

comes to sourcing ideas. I often attend events and visit

perspectives. Over the years, however, I’ve come to

partners and suppliers to observe market solutions

understand the potential that can be unlocked when an

in action. I also participate in the RightBrains Digital

organisation can successfully translate business needs

Leadership Programme, where I have the chance

into technology solutions.

to discuss trends and innovations with enthusiastic professors and a network of strong women leaders.

As a business consultant on Stater’s innovation and digitalisation team, my role is to explore emerging

Currently, I am consulting with the IT department

research and technologies and propose ideas for how

to develop a customer portal. This portal will allow

Stater can incorporate them into our products and

our customers to securely sign contracts, view their

services. This culture of innovation enables us to better

mortgage status and complete interest renewals online

serve our customers.

and on their mobile phones. Our digital solutions are successful. In fact, companies have approached us



about using our technologies, and now we are exploring the possibility of an API management tool that will open up our services and help other mortgage companies create a digital world for their customers. Although Stater is primarily a mortgage company, it embraces innovation and recognises the growing importance of technology in serving its customers’ needs. The IT component within every industry is growing, and as it does, so does the variety of opportunities within digital technology. When people think of technology careers, they tend to think of engineers and developers, but the truth is that all kinds of skills can add value to digital transformation. I’ve always wanted to be a business consultant and work at the edge of business and technology. At Stater, I have


found the perfect balance. When I look at professional roles within digital technology, I see far more men than women. Within my

to add value and bring new perspectives into this field.

professional network, I’ve spoken to many women about

I encourage students to keep an open mind as they take

the challenges they’ve faced and the choices they’ve

their first steps into the professional world and to take

made in their careers. From their stories, I’ve learned

advantage of the many possibilities available to them as

how important it is to have diversity in perspectives and

they chart their path in the world.

leadership, especially as we look at the roadmap of where to go next. I also see that the young women entering the workforce today bring with them a certain fluency with the digital

Renate Klein


world, a fluency that we who are only a few years older lack. These young women have a natural opportunity

Ines Verburgh Lead Innovation Transavia


We design ­information ­systems that help our asset managers do their job Anneke Schings is the Functional Lead of the Alternative Investments Domain within APG Asset Management. As a business analyst, she considers business challenges, proposes solutions and liaisons between the business and technology.

Anneke Schings Functional Lead APG

What does a typical day at the office look like for you?

to track and manage alternative investments across

My days are quite diverse. From a functional

all private markets. Our offices in the Netherlands



and across the globe all have a stake in this platform’s


success. Because of this, we are working hard to



constantly about




challenges. From a technical perspective, I dive

evaluate and evolve the system as we introduce it.

into the solution design of information systems.

Within this project, I am also involved in project and

Currently, I am managing the implementation of the

financial planning. Within our department, my team

eFront product FrontInvest, which is the system we use

is also piloting the agile method of working. This is an



entirely new and more effective way of working, so it is very exciting! As you can see, I do a wide variety of things on a day-to-day basis, which is what I love most about my job: it’s never boring. Did you always intend to work in digital technology? Not at all! When I finished university, I began an APG traineeship that focused on processes, systems and pension matters. At that time, the company was in the midst of developing a web portal for pension fund participants, and I became involved in the technical side almost by accident. One of the things I really enjoyed about the project was how it combined technology with business administration.


After this experience, I began to broaden my career horizons. I found that within APG alone, there were so many roles sitting at the intersection between business and technology, and I’ve pursued these roles ever

What advice do you have for young professionals

since. I like that they sometimes go very deep into the

as they transition from university into the working

technical side of systems and technologies, but they


always tie back to strategic business concerns.

One of the most common behaviours I see in the office, especially amongst new colleagues, is a fear of asking

What is it like to work at APG Asset Management?

questions. My advice is when you start a job and don’t

APG is a large company, and employees have plenty

know something, just ask! Just by asking a lot of

of room to grow. For example, I started in rights

questions, you can develop a knowledge baseline that

management a decade ago, and today I work in an

will inform you later in your career. Especially as you

entirely different branch of the company. Employees at

start out, absorb as much information as possible. Do

APG have the chance to explore different departments,

independent research, attend trainings, participate in

figure out what they like and gradually grow towards a

programmes. All of this will prepare you for success.

role that suits their interests. In my experience, if you

Iris Jurus-Seijeser

stand out and go for the roles you want, APG will give you opportunities to succeed.



Anneke Schings

Vice President Controlling EMEA Groupe SEB

I work at the edge of ­ usiness and b

technology As the Digital Development Manager at Nationale-Nederlanden, one of the leading players in the Dutch insurance market, Femke Jacobs is responsible for developing IT for all digital channels, including portals, mobile apps and websites.

What does a typical day at the office look like for you?

market? Can we continue building on our platforms, or

My day starts at 7:30. I like to start early because many

do we need new technology? We discuss the cloud, new

of the programmers on my teams prefer to get an early

innovations and what we should do with big data.

start. I get myself a cup of coffee and make a round to

Femke Jacobs Digital Development Manager Nationale-Nederlanden

check in and see whether anyone needs support. During

The agile way of working is an important part of our

the day, I have seven multidisciplinary development

2020 plan. Because digital technology changes at such

teams working on portals and app functionalities. I step

a fast pace, we as an organisation need to be flexible. We

in when there are resource issues or blocking items

cannot expect software applications we build next year

that they cannot solve, but otherwise they are self-

to be functional a decade later. However, we can predict

sufficient. At the operational level, my role is essentially

some staying trends. For example, we can expect a

to enable my teams to do their work.

non-static digital environment where data on our online behaviour will somehow be used. For us at Nationale-

At the strategic level, I look ahead to the next few

Nederlanden, this means that we need to challenge

months or even years. For example, I created a vision for

our teams to continuously think about innovations

our digital landscape as part of our 2020 plan. In doing

and engage in professional development accordingly.

so, I asked important questions: What’s changing in the

We need our teams to demonstrate craftsmanship



at the technical level so we can stay ahead of what’s

knowledgeable about IT architecture and can program,

happening in the market.

I am able to understand what my team does every day. Moreover, because I know how to understand and develop business strategies, I’m capable of making the translation between IT policy and business needs.


What advice do you have for young women considering technology careers? While there are many women on the business side of digital, we need more women in the trenches of engineering and development. Diversity on the work floor is important, and since IT is largely a maledominated world, simply being a woman and being authentic adds value. I want to say this to the young women who are just now beginning their careers: if you choose to work in technology, don’t be afraid to dive into the technical side of it. You have an advantage as a woman if you are able to combine in-depth IT knowledge with feminine skills.

Because we are a bank and an insurer, we have to consider some special circumstances. Most importantly,

As you progress in your careers, continue to develop

while we are expected to be entrepreneurial and

your network. Within Nationale-Nederlanden, I have

innovative in our vision and strategy, we must also

a monthly lunch with my female IT colleagues. It’s

consider security and ensure we maintain the trust of

fun to sit down together and discuss different topics,

our customers and our brokers.

like new technologies and new games. As a group of women working in digital technology, we can share

What drove you to pursue a career in digital

our knowledge and experiences and help each other



I have always been a tech lady, so studying IT was a natural choice for me. Later on, I combined it with business administration. The digital world, and particularly the possibilities that lie at the edge of business and technology, has always been my passion. Looking back, this was the best choice I could have made. Because I’m


Femke Jacobs

Harriet van der Winden IT Director Landal GreenParks

WITH DATA ­SCIENCE, WE ­PROVIDE UNFORGETTABLE HOLIDAYS FOR OUR GUESTS Harriet van der Winden is the IT Director at Landal GreenParks, the largest holiday provider in bungalow parks across Western Europe.

What are your core responsibilities as the IT director?

need to develop a strong and committed team capable

At Landal GreenParks, we aim to provide unforgettable

of carrying out this vision. I really enjoy driving a wide

holidays for our guests. I manage the IT systems that

range of initiatives that help the company grow.

make this possible. On any given day, this could mean setting up laptops for the office, evaluating the best tool

How is digital technology changing the tourism

to help our restaurant kitchens digitise or steering the


creation of an app to inform guests about fun activities

The effective use of large amounts of data is becoming

at our parks. I get to poke my nose in everything,

more and more important. For example, in 2016,

and that’s what I love most about working in digital

we completed a €1 million project to redesign and

technology at Landal.

restructure a twelve-year-old data warehouse to unlock the business intelligence we need. In doing so, we

An important component of my role is setting the

brought the data from a large number of our systems

vision for the company’s digital development. I have to

together: financial data, booking records, guest reviews

understand the different business processes at play,

and complaints, all in one big bowl.

along with their connections and dependences, so I can make the right decisions for the company. I also




We use this information to power our search results

In the wake of these changes, communication skills

for more. You have to learn to say no and trust that both

and display recommendations based on what we

are crucial. IT people need to become more and more

sides will still like you if you do.

know about our guests. With this foundation, we can

bilingual. They must be able to understand the bytes

also start developing dashboards and tools for our

and bits, as well as explain these concepts in a way

What advice do you have for young women stepping

partners and support staff. This means that everyone

that others can understand. This is where things get

out into the professional world?

within our company, from the marketers to the park

interesting: while there are many specialists, only a

My strongest advice would be to take the time to figure

managers, can receive data tailored to their information

small group is good at describing what they do. There is

out what you really like, and when you do, enjoy it.

needs. However, this also means that they must be

potentially an opportunity for women to close this gap.

You learn best when you’re having fun. Young people

able to interpret that data. Developments like this are fundamentally changing the competencies required

Do you see many women in technology-focused

three years will determine their entire careers. My

in a modern workforce. This is why I always say that

leadership roles?

experience is that life is full of interesting curveballs,

everyone works in IT.

When I attend IT leadership events in Holland, I’m

and your career will unfold as it will. I will say that if

typically one of the very few women present. However,

you’re interested in technology, that’s brilliant, because

we are part of an American company, and when I travel

it will be one of the most important areas in business,

to the States for similar events, usually half the

and it’s not going away any time soon. If you choose to

attendees are women.

work in this area, you’ll have so much fun.


today might fall into the trap of thinking that the first

My guess is that this largely has to do with our different attitudes towards part-time work. My American colleagues are often surprised that I spend Fridays at home with my son. However, I strongly believe that both

Harriet van der Winden

individuals and organisations can benefit from more flexible working arrangements, and perhaps promoting this perspective will encourage women to pursue more senior roles. Balancing work and family life is a big challenge, and it’s something that many women must learn, because both your family and your job will keep on asking you


Transformation The rapid advancement of technology demands a high degree of innovation and change management from organisations. Businesses must transform their organisation, marketing, operations and processes to be successful in this dyamic new environment. The people interviewed in this chapter share how they approach these changes and their vision for success. They also discuss why they love working at the edge of business and technology.


Jeroen van der Velden Expert Digital Transformation and Strategy

THE DAYS OF COMMAND-ANDCONTROL, WINNER-TAKE-ALL LEADERSHIP ARE OVER Jeroen van der Velden is an expert in organisational development and strategy. As an Associate Strategy Professor at Nyenrode Business University and the Co-Director of the Nyenrode Strategy Centre, he leads courses on digital transformation, strategy alignment, new business models and new ways of working. For more than twenty-five years, he has advised organisations across various sectors on strategic issues related to organisational development and teamwork. As a researcher, he focuses on strategy alignment and the effects of information technology in organisational environments. He is a core lecturer for the RightBrains Digital Leadership Programme.

How is rapid technological change demanding


organisations to transform?

organisations are forced to operate in the context of

We live in a consumer-driven world. In the wake of

uncertainty. As organisations think ahead, they need to

digitalisation and the possibilities it brings, consumer

consider complex variables: How will technology evolve?

demands are changing faster than ever. For example,

How will regulatory issues between governments play

consider the logistics industry. Several years ago, track-

out? How will consumer demands change? It is easy to

and-trace was a special service offered only by the top

look backwards and understand why events unfolded as

players. Today, consumers expect this service from any

they did, but it is impossible to predict a future event

logistics company competing in the marketplace.

from the information we have now.









more languages to add value. Third, employees will have

by striving towards an optimum between different

This is the starting point for why digitalisation changes

less of a fixed role and instead function as members of

factors. Since an idea for a product or service will

everything. As we enter the unknown, we need to think

a network in which they play changing roles over time

most likely change as it is developed, the starting point

critically about how we are going to fill in our future.

according to the demands and requirements of the

becomes much more important than the final product.

How will we change and develop? Will there be work for


This means that teams within organisations will need to

everybody? What will happen if a few have everything

innovate given only basic ideas and boundaries.

and the rest have nothing? These technological

What kinds of adjustments will organisations need to

advancements bring forward a multitude of such

make in light of these developments? What are some

Within this context, the people who form an organisation

questions, and these questions are important because

trends we can expect to see in this area over the next

are critical, as their histories and perspectives form the

we as a society are responsible for steering technology

three to five years?

foundation for the organisation’s response to change.

in the right direction. The future has the potential to be

The challenges that arise within an organisational

By collaborating, they develop the dynamic capabilities

a horror story or something beautiful, and it’s up to us.

To be successful in this dynamic new environment,

context are increasingly complex and need to be

that enable the organisation to adapt, evolve and thereby

organisations need to become adaptable and at the

addressed as strategic issues. These challenges often

remain competitive in the digital business environment.

same time more efficient. The traditional methods

have no single solution, but rather multiple solutions

for managing teams and developing products and

that appease different combinations of stakeholders.

What do you find most exciting about working in this

services are less effective. Whereas organisations

Whereas teams have traditionally worked towards


have traditionally worked from a locus of control, they

convergent solutions, organisations have to move more

I’ve always been fond of science fiction films. Films like

must now surrender their control and focus instead on

and more towards pursuing divergent problem-solving

Minority Report, Ex Machina and The Matrix give us

becoming flexible and resilient to change.

Jeroen van der Velden

ideas about how the world will evolve – not necessarily what will happen, but what can happen.

New ways of working, such as scrum and agile, have emerged in response to these developments. These methods are characterised by short cycles and greater emphasis on the process rather than the end product. As organisations move to implement these new ways of working, however, they will need to fundamentally change. First, they have to let go of the out-dated traditional hierarchy. Second, they will need to embrace multidisciplinary collaboration. In this new environment, people will need to speak and understand



In the very near future, we will see many of our current jobs outsourced to robots. Computers are not only able to solve structured and unstructured mental tasks; they are already able to learn. Furthermore, machines are in many cases already able to produce higher quality and more reliable work output. Consequently, many of the jobs that exist today will vanish. This means that how people add value within organisations is changing. The important question is how.


Ilse Spoelstra Consultant BearingPoint

I HELP CUSTOMERS SEIZE THEIR ­DIGITAL ­POTENTIAL AND CREATE A BETTER-CONNECTED WORLD At BearingPoint, Ilse Spoelstra supports companies as they navigate digital disruption and technology-driven change. By combining her business and change management skills with creativity and empathy, she supports her customers in providing a more seamless and personalised digital experience to their customers.

What do you do as a business consultant at Bearing-

colleagues and I on the digital strategy team help them


determine how they can use technology to provide a

I joined BearingPoint three years ago after my

more seamless and personalised digital experience for

graduation. As a business strategy and transformation

their customers. We help them with challenges ranging

consultant, I see the impact of digital disruption every

from introducing differentiating products and business

day. In many sectors, disruptive startups are quickly

models to guiding them in accelerating their digital

gaining market share, and businesses that have been

initiatives. For example, we may help a company explore

around for decades are suddenly losing their relevance.

possibilities to increase their market share through

Combining my business and change management

e-commerce platforms or drive customer engagement

skills, I guide companies like these through their digital

through the use of mobile applications.

transformation. At the moment, my team is helping one of our More and more, our customers are asking us, ‘We see

international clients transform its digital customer

that the world is changing, and our customers have

experience in Central America. We are talking to local

different expectations of us. What should we do?’ My

executives about the tools and services they want to




provide, and at the same time, we are asking their

and from different angles about how my customers

However, many different skillsets are needed to answer

customers what technology they need to be successful.

can improve their customer journey. I also need

the challenges of digital transformation. I work with

I enjoy projects like these, as they give us the chance

empathy to understand their end users. Developing

a diverse group of colleagues to generate innovative

to design consumer-centric digital experiences. I also

comprehensive, customer-focused solutions to these

ideas and visualise solutions. My multidisciplinary

have the chance to travel and collaborate with people

highly complex challenges requires an understanding

team includes mathematicians, psychologists and

all over the world.

of both business and technology. My bachelor’s degree

entrepreneurs, and by combining our perspectives and

in international business and my master’s degree in

knowledge, we are better able to serve our clients.

In addition to my client engagements, I am involved

change management have given me a well-rounded

in developing our innovation workshop methodology.

skillset that is very suitable for this kind of consulting.

What do you want young people to know about

Although our clients are C-level executives with a great

My academic background combined with the experience

pursuing a career in digital technology?

deal of experience, for them digital is also a new world

and technical knowledge I have gained over the course

In digital transformation, creativity and empathy are

with new opportunities. Our breakthrough workshops

of my projects have shaped me as a digital strategy

just as important as understanding technology. We

help guide executives in making decisions about the


cannot change the digital world with information

future of their organisations. These workshops will take

technology alone: we need our right brain, too. So, if

place in BearingPoint’s innovation centre, where we will

you are like me and you feel excitement about working

not only host client workshops but also invite speakers

in these dynamic, diverse and creative environments,

to deliver TEDx-style lectures, collaborate with start-

then digital strategy and transformation might just be

ups and host events for students. We see ourselves as part of a larger digital ecosystem, and this centre will play an important role in bringing the various elements of our work together. Through my work at BearingPoint, my goal is to help customers seize their digital potential and provide a superior customer experience to their consumers. Ultimately, this contributes to creating a betterconnected world that gives everyone more time to spend on what matters. What skills and competences are needed to work in digital consulting? Digital consulting requires a holistic way of thinking.


the right place for you.

Ilse Spoelstra

As a digital consultant, I need to think creatively



What intrigues me most is the human element of digital transformation After a decade in the logistics industry, Esther Splinter struggled to deliver the kind of impact she wanted to have at her company. Anderson MacGyver opened her eyes to the endless possibilities technology brings to business information. Now, as consultant, she aims to ignite that same spark within her own client organisations. Esther Splinter Consultant Anderson MacGyver

What do you find most exciting about digital

I work on a variety of projects, but what intrigues me


most is the human element of digital transformation.

At Anderson MacGyver, we believe that integrating

For example, when we guide our customers in finding

business and technology is the key to unlocking an

the right solution partner, we have to consider the

organisation’s potential. In the future, organisations

company culture and the dynamics at play in the

will rely on data more and more to create opportunities,


achieve competitive advantage and flex in a changing

introduces IT and technology, there will be a need to

market. When we engage with companies, we help

change people and culture, and this is an area where

them to design and realise practical transformation

IÂ feel confident IÂ can add value.








At what moment did you decide you wanted to pursue a technology career? Before I started at Anderson MacGyver, I spent over a decade working for a company in the logistics sector, where I was responsible for process optimisation. While I found the work interesting, I struggled to have the kind of impact I hoped to deliver. My company collaborated with Anderson MacGyver on a project, and I was immediately fascinated by the company’s fresh outlook and pragmatic approach. A light bulb went on: making a difference requires innovation, and today innovation is driven by technology. In this way, Anderson MacGyver introduced me to the digital world and all the possibilities that technology brings, particularly within the context of business


information. Now, as a consultant at Anderson MacGyver, I hope to ignite the same spark within my client companies. At the office in IJsselstein, when I look into my What is it like to work at Anderson MacGyver?

colleagues’ eyes, I see a sparkle. I draw energy from

It’s hard to describe what happens when I’m in the

this and become inspired to learn more about the

office. There’s a feeling there that I cannot quite explain.

subjects that pique my curiosity. It’s hard to define what

It’s a dynamic atmosphere. We don’t just clock in, finish

‘sparkle’ means. For me it’s very special, and I haven’t

our work and clock out. We invest ourselves in our work

seen it at any other consulting agencies I’ve seen.

and our clients.

That’s what working at Anderson MacGyver is like for

I have a passion and affinity for business information

me. It sparkles, and I feel like I sparkle too. Every day,

and technology. However, I have no formal IT

I learn more about IT and technology, and I learn more

knowledge, so I sometimes surprise my colleagues and

about myself. I am standing at the centre of the digital

our customers with my perspectives. This is the magic

world, and in that place there is never a dull moment.


of Anderson MacGyver: because our consultants have different backgrounds and skillsets, we can provide a fresh and comprehensive perspective for our clients. This enables us to achieve even greater results.


Esther Splinter

Petri Hofste

Non-Executive Multi-Board Member

AS NEW DRIVING TECHNOLOGIES EMERGE, WE TRAIN DRIVERS AND KEEP THE ROADS SAFE Larisa Wentholt is the Chief Information Officer at the Central Bureau of Driving ­Certification (CBR), the public independent administrative organisation that assesses the skills and fitness of professional drivers.

Larisa Wentholt CIO CBR

What most excites you about working at CBR?

Because I work in the public sector, I am able to see how

We are witnessing the digitalisation of the automotive

my work affects the people around me. For e ­ xample,

industry. Drivers today must know how to operate

CBR digitalised the driver’s licence exam. Where as

advanced assistance services, such as adaptive cruise

I completed my exam in a large room where the exam

control and automatic parking. As the world of mobility

was projected on the wall, applicants now complete it

changes, we need to update our exams and make sure

on a touchscreen device during an individual timeslot.

drivers are properly trained to use these features.

Although teens today experience this milestone

We also think about how we can add value through

differently, I recognise the same excitement on these

innovation for our customers.

young people’s faces as they walk through the door. I enjoy seeing the relevance of my work every day.

As the CIO, at the uppermost level, I define the vision and drive innovation together with CBR’s executive

Why did you decide to pursue a career in digital

team. Within the IT organisation, I manage daily




Initially, I studied IT at the University of Nijmegen. When

business applications, information management and

I began to understand how digital technology was going


to transform our world, I decided to combine IT with





change management at the University of Eindhoven.

As a woman in a technology-focused leadership role,

In my early career, I helped organisations transition

can you describe the landscape in terms of gender

from DOS to Windows. Later on, I introduced email and


electronic collaboration in offices. Today, I work with

I see almost no women in network and system

automation and satellite global positioning systems.

maintenance roles. I see some women in application development, but I would like to see more women in these pure technology roles. Diversity is good for companies, and changing team dynamics is healthy.


I see many more women in roles that combine information management and functional management, or in other words, that bridge business and technology. Women flourish in these positions because they generally have strong communication capabilities. I hope that the opportunities emerging in this area, particularly those in data analysis and digital applications, will draw many more women into this area. It is quite something to be a woman in a male-dominated field. While there must be an element of adaptation, the value of diversity lies in authenticity. Women can add value by simply being women and bringing different traits and perspectives to the table. As young women begin technology careers, they should strive to be


authentic. Only by entering this world, staying true to ourselves and doing a good job can we effect change.

Digitalisation, technology and data are revolutionising every aspect of how we work and live. This is what excites me and drives me. Through my work, I look for ways I can add value to this change.


Larisa Wentholt

Eva Fabry Director ECWT

WE HAD TO BREAK ALL THE RULES TO BECOME TRULY DIGITAL Within KPN Digital, Karin Croon helped lead the shift towards the agile and self-organising way of working. She and her colleagues, Claudia Hoogwerf and Liubov Kononenko, discuss how this organisational and cultural transformation made room for innovation and enabled them to become more customer-oriented, productive and resilient in a fast-changing and disruptive environment.

Claudia Hoogwerf IT Consultant Karin Croon Business Transformation manager Liubov Kononenko Front-End Developer KPN

Can you tell me about KPN’s digital transformation and

Claudia: As a technical consultant, I help my colleagues

how you work together in this new team structure?

access the data and insights they need. For example,

Karin: Within KPN Digital, we are saying goodbye to

we built a self-service system that gives teams within

the old-fashioned management function. All teams

the company access to all information on engineering

report directly to one person who is responsible for

appointments and call details so they can build their

the entire IT department. We created a support circle

own reports to identify trends and resolve problems for

to help him fulfil this task. Within this structure,

our customers. As we work on becoming a data-driven

I lead the people and team development centre and

company, our goal is to use the data we collect to be

am responsible for all coaching activities. Technically,

predictive rather than reactive so we can anticipate our

I guess you could say I’m responsible for all the people

customers’ needs.

within our digital department – but at the end of the day, we are a self-organising environment and the

Liubov: I work as a front-end developer on the

teams are responsible for themselves. When we began

e-commerce mobile team. We build and maintain KPN’s

this cultural transformation, I also had to undergo a

online shop where customers can purchase phones

complete personal transformation. I traded in my old-

and tablets with a KPN subscription. In advance of the

fashioned management role and exchanged it for a new

iPhone 8 release, we started developing a new online

connecting, coaching and inspiring leadership role.

shop with a new technology stack. I worked on designing the architecture of the application and developing



functionalities according to business requirements. I started at KPN six months ago, and I really enjoy this way of working. I get to be really creative and take ownership of my work. Even though we all have our own responsibilities in different departments, we



What tips do you have for young girls who want to

products and our work. The leadership knows that

study or work in digital technology?

we as developers are finding the best path to the best

Liubov: If you study computer science, you have

results and empower us to do so.

so many opportunities and can choose the most interesting field for you from the huge range of

What do you do to create a culture of innovation within

professions. Because technology is changing so fast,

KPN Digital?

what you know is constantly becoming obsolete, so the

Claudia: Besides our daily work, Karin and I are part

learning is never-ending. Attending conferences and

of the communications scrum team, and we work hard

meet-up events also help you stay up to date. There are

to create an innovative environment here at the office.

many events specifically for women who are interested

Twice a year, we host a 24-hour hackathon where

in digital technology. For example, in October, KPN

Why does KPN Digital organise itself differently? What

people can create and demo products while enjoying

hosted the first Front-End Developer Women Meet-Up

results do you see in your day-to-day work?

nice drinks and an office sleepover. People are really

in Amsterdam.

Karin: In 2014, KPN decided to merge the innovation

enthusiastic. We also have innovation days where

have events within KPN Digital that help us improve our skills and knowledge and also give us the chance to collaborate with other teams. As a result, we have a great working atmosphere, and it feels like we’re a big family here on our floor.

activities of several departments. In Digital, we saw

the digital department and the rest of the company

people can take certain Fridays off from their regular

Claudia: When looking for a job, it’s important to focus

a big, beautiful environment that didn’t work for us

because we lacked transparency. We only did changes

projects to work on cool assignments and personal

on not only the technical content of the job, but also the

anymore: if we needed to change, it would take us

in big software releases, so everyone had to wait a long

projects. Our floor is a fun and creative space: we have

environment. Find a company that suits you. I’ve been

months or even years. We decided to break out of it.

time to see the results, and there was a large risk for

a football field, a pool table, a game room and a tennis

working in this company for so long because I love the

That’s when we started this new way of working. We

errors and changes during the process. Now, we can

table. We also bring in inspirational speakers and offer

casual atmosphere, the freedom I get as an employee

completely changed our leadership approach. Instead

build something every two weeks that our colleagues

workshops so that people can develop new skills.

and the colleagues I’ve met along the way.

of a department based on control, commands and KPI

can immediately use. What’s more, our teams and

reporting, we became one based on trust. Instead of

colleagues are sitting on the same floor, so we can

Karin: Leadership facilitates an environment where

Karin: You don’t have to be ‘the best’ but you have to be

having managers decide our technical direction, we had

communicate much faster. Since we became more

people can experiment, make mistakes and try again.

willing to improve yourself. It’s important to be open-

real technical people like Claudia and Liubov to help

flexible, we have been receiving nine and ten ratings

We give our teams a lot of trust, but we also get a lot

minded and dare to speak up when you don’t know or

us make the right decisions and dial in our technical

from our internal customers. This is a big step forward

of trust back. Perhaps the most important thing we do

are unable to do something. As long as you are willing

capabilities. Our next step completely went against

for us.

though is hire people from all over the world. New and

to learn and change, you will do fine.

old colleagues share experiences, skills, culture and

KPN’s tradition. We built an open-source decoupling


responsible for the results, so feel ownership for our

layer that allowed us to decouple the front-end layer,

Liubov: On the technical teams, we also feel the

all kinds of fun things. We encourage diversity in every

or the customer interaction layer, from our big, old and

difference. We have the freedom to choose how we

way, and we are especially trying to hire more technical

slow legacy systems.

work and select the technologies that we think are most

ladies on our team. We believe that combining different

effective. For example, for the new shop, we chose to

perspectives is the best way to create a truly innovative

Claudia: We can definitely feel the difference. Before

use Angular 4 with Typescript, even though our other

environment and ensure we have the best ideas to

this transformation, there was a big distance between

projects are based on other frameworks. All of us are

choose from.

Karin Croon, Claudia Hoogwerf and Liubov Kononenko 83

HOW WE USED ­AGILE TO DISRUPT AN INDUSTRY As the Chief Digital Officer and Chief Information Officer at Royal FloraHolland, Gerhard van der Bijl is leading one of the largest digital transformations in the Netherlands. By disrupting the company’s business model – and in doing so, the entire sector around it – he aims to secure Royal FloraHolland’s position as the Netherlands’ largest flower and plant trader for another hundred years.

What is your vision for the future of Royal Flora­

facilitating global trade and add value for both growers


and buyers. As we move from physical to digital, we

Royal FloraHolland deals in flowers and pot plants.

want to support new digital initiatives and take our

Traditionally, the value chain starts with the grower.

operations from local to global by extending our service

When he is ready to sell, he brings his products to

portfolio into the international market.

our physical business-to-business (B2B) market,

Gerhard van der Bijl CDO and CIO Royal FloraHolland

where he sells his flowers and plants to buyers.

How are you approaching this massive challenge?

In this value chain, Royal FloraHolland is the

If you want to transform a very traditional business on

typical middleman. As you can imagine, with the

this scale, you have to act fast and you have to act big.

rise of digital, the physical marketplace is under

The first step was to create the vision for our digital

pressure. More and more trade is flowing directly

ecosystem. The second step is to get the right talent

between the growers and buyers. Digital channels

on board, which means creating an exciting work

start to emerge, creating the potential for efficient

environment. The third step is to clearly articulate

global trade.

and communicate what’s going to happen across the company to ensure everyone is on the same page and

This digital transformation is an important opportunity

on board.

for Royal FloraHolland because we want to play a role in





To support this large-scale transformation, we are

with people who can collaborate and contribute to

organising new teams around data and investing heavily

the company culture. I like to create teams that feel

in data science and predictive analytics. We are also

mandated and empowered to seize opportunity and

implementing the agile method of working to enable

bring beautiful products to life.

our teams to act quickly and efficiently in response to changing circumstances. We are now nine months underway, and we have made a lot of progress. As we fully move into this digital phase, what skills and competences are becoming critical? In the near future, every role will have a technology element. Soft skills will become a differentiator as business and technology continue to merge and certain hard skills become more common across the workforce. There will be a need for people who can


manage people and culture and develop vision around products and organisations. Creativity and empathy will also become more important, as transforming B2B

What advice do you have for young professionals who

requires transforming not only your business, but also

are beginning their careers?

the ecosystem around it and the people within it. These

I get the feeling that new graduates are focused on


are areas where women tend to be more developed,

immediately finding the ‘perfect’ job. They want a role

opportunity to disrupt our business and operating

providing a potential opportunity for women to close the

that has a direct impact and contributes to a strategic

models and, in doing so, the sector around it. To do

gender gap in tech.

career. As a result, they are afraid to make mistakes.







this, we must build a new digital ecosystem. One of our


My advice is to let go of this notion of a perfect job. Try

key projects is developing a digital trading platform.

As you build out your teams, what qualities make a

to find your true north not by studying it or trying to

On this platform, we will connect suppliers and buyers

candidate stand out to you?

make it perfect before you even start, but by working at

by creating national, global and wholesale channels

I want to see a spark – motivation, passion and energy.

different companies and figuring out what you’re good

and effectively applying channel e-commerce, which

I want someone who goes above and beyond and always

at. Get exposure to a wide range of roles, and learn by

is typical in business-to-consumer (B2C) interactions,

over-delivers. Moreover, I want someone who believes

doing. And if you fail, you can always start again.

to a B2B world. We plan to launch the minimal viable

in the company and our role within the market. When

product (MVP) for this platform in November. You can

considering candidates for my teams, I want to see

have a sneak peek of what we’re working on at www.

T-shaped candidates: those with a broad set of talent


plus a spike in a certain skill. Finally, I want to work

Gerhard van der Bijl 87

Digital Leadership Digital leadership requires us to revisit leadership and rethink how we can tap into the talent within our organisations. In the digital age, we are experiencing a deep change in how we interact, communicate and achieve goals. The women in this chapter talk about how they unlock talent by building diverse teams, encouraging experimentation and facilitating knowledge exchange. By committing to diversity in these ways, these digital leaders successfully drive engagement and innovation.

IT’S TIME TO REINVENT THE WORKPLACE TO ­UNLOCK THE POTENTIAL OF DIVERSITY Kay Formanek is a researcher, author, lecturer, coach and adviser on the topic of ­ diversity and performance. After twenty-five years as a partner and managing director at Accenture, Kay founded her company, Diversity and Performance, to help organisations shape their diversity programmes and drive performance outcomes. In addition to developing the Integrated Diversity Framework, Kay spends her time writing books, lecturing at top business schools, speaking at events and serving on the board of Health Works, an NGO focused on liberating the talent of women and children from communities devastated by war.

Kay Formanek Expert Diversity and Performance

When did you first encounter the transformative

When you look beyond colour, gender, age or disability

power of diversity?

and ask fundamental questions – ‘Have you experienced

I grew up in South Africa during the apartheid era.

fear?’ or ‘Have you ever felt lonely or judged?’ – for

As a young girl, I witnessed the burning schools and

each of these questions, the answer is yes. This is what

the unbelievable pain of a country divided by race.

makes us human beings. When we recognise that we

Although most schools were segregated in those days,

are each unique and yet more similar than different,

I attended a private multiracial boarding school for

then we can start making things happen.

girls. My classmates and I did everything together: we slept in the same dormitory, ate breakfast together and

I experienced this professionally when I began

attended our lessons together.

working at Accenture in South Africa. The leadership acknowledged the political and societal transformation

This experience taught me that we are each different,

happening across the country and committed to

but we are all deeply connected through our humanity.

transforming the company along with it. We took the




time to register these changes. We were honest about

reaction, we minimise the benefits of harnessing

work requires equal pay – this is your right, and it is

diversity by treating diversity as a hobby rather than

protected by law. Last but not least, dare to speak up

running diversity as a business. For diversity to

and challenge stereotypes in your everyday life.

the limitations of our homogenous talent pool and began looking very consciously at our unconscious biases. We then enriched our talent pool and our leadership capacity to reflect the realities of our country and the requirements of our clients. In essence, we set the goal of harnessing the power of diversity so that we and our clients could be more successful. Why are diversity and transformation important


transformational journey. They need to develop the

What tips do you have for dealing with unconscious

diversity business case, set and measure diversity

bias and stereotypes in the workplace?

goals, and ensure that everyone across the organisation

My most important tip is to never restrict yourself

is held accountable for delivering outcomes.

because of your own unconscious bias. These are often the most harmful and limiting barriers because they are

One of the most important challenges we face is that

hard-coded onto our being and our brain. For example,

focusing on diversity requires us to accept our own

you may have an unconscious belief that digital jobs are

unconscious biases. We each have a genetic default

reserved mostly for men. This is not true. However, if

usually needs to be a reason for it to occur. In South

and learned tendency to associate with people who

we hold false beliefs, then we will unwittingly filter out

Africa, the reason was political. Here in the Netherlands,

are similar to us because it makes us feel safer and

some wonderful career opportunities. So be sure to

the issues are performance and productivity. The

more effective. It takes strong behavioural guidelines

confront your own biases and don’t limit yourself.

within the context of the Netherlands? Undergoing transformation is always difficult, and there

digital revolution is changing the shape of our society

For us to close the skills gap, we need to encourage

to change our default patterns. We must always remind

and business. Everywhere we look, classic business

a wider audience to pursue digital education and

ourselves that being different has value, and that if

As you move forward in your career, you may encounter

models are being supplanted. In this case, therefore,

participate in the digital market. At the same time,

done right, diversity can have extraordinary results.

people who are biased. Understand that these biases

the transformational context for diversity is digital.

leaders are realising that in the digital era, diverse

reveal their limitations and not your own. If at any

teams comprising different ages, different educational

What are some practical things students can do to

point you feel weighed down by biases, try to surround

The Netherlands aims to be the number one digital

backgrounds and different genders have a greater

overcome unconscious bias?

yourself by people who defy these biases in their

economy in the world. This means being successful at a

capacity to understand, innovate and take ideas further.

An easy first step is to take the Implicit Association

actions and achievements. I have done this myself, and

number of things, including high connectivity, excellent

Consequently, diversity is becoming a priority in the

Test to reveal your own biases. The results are often

it is liberating.

infrastructure and the digital empowerment of citizens.

Netherlands. For the first time, we are treating it not as

surprising. Additionally, while you should seek out

It also means being able to supply the necessary digital

some moral or ‘feel good’ issue, but one that is critical

mentors and sponsors who are good role models and

Finally, don’t ever stop learning. You are responsible for

talent. In 2013, we had eleven thousand unfilled digital

to our very success as a nation.

will allow you to learn, consider selecting somebody

your own development, and the choices you make about

who is dissimilar to you in some way. I recommend

what to learn and how to develop will be an important

jobs in the Netherlands, and this number is only rising.


work, organisations need to see it as critical to their

As a result, companies are waiting for months or even

What are the biggest challenges we face in changing

doing this because diversity of opinion is good, and

source for defying biases and becoming a role model

years to fill certain positions. This affects not only the

attitudes and organisations?

you can learn a lot by learning how to work together.

for others.

company, but also our productivity as a nation and our

The word ‘diversity’ often causes an instant sense of

As you begin applying for jobs, you can do research

ability to succeed at a global level.

discomfort. Some people feel guilty or inadequate,

on each company’s diversity track record. More and

while some think it means affirmative action and see

more companies are publishing their diversity charter

it as a threat to meritocracy. If we get past the initial

and metrics on their websites. Know that equal

Kay Formanek 93

Bringing ­ Cathy Boers Account Manager Healthcare Cisco

digital ­solutions to healthcare After Cathy Boers completed Cisco’s Sales Associate Programme, she began working as an account manager in the healthcare sector. She helps hospitals and healthcare centres develop digital solutions to improve patient care.

As a digital native, technology is ingrained in my

on how to ditgitise care processes and help residents

social culture. It connects every aspect of my life, and­

connect to the digital world. We worked with them

I couldn’t imagine a world without it. However, early in

for several months to identify the functionalities they

my career, I discovered that not everyone shares this

needed and how our products could help. Last year,

perspective. Intrigued by this, I began speaking with

we implemented one-thousant wireless access points

people about why they want and need to work with

across their campus.

technology. Ultimately, I decided to pursue a double master’s programme in consulting and business

Over the past three years, I’ve learned that you don’t

information so I could help teams bridge this gap within

need to be a developer to bring value to technology roles.

their own organisations.

When customers come to us with their challenges, we offer value by understanding their needs and working

As an account manager in Cisco’s healthcare sector,

with them to develop technology-driven solutions.

I help hospitals and care facilities identify how they can use Cisco’s digital products to improve patient

One reason I joined Cisco’s Sales Associate Programme

care. One project I’m particularly proud of was for an

(CSAP) was because I knew I wanted to work closely

elderly care home. The client came to us for advice

with technology, but I worried about my lack of technical



they bring to these new technology roles. Since women have traditionally drawn away from deep technical


roles, the closer alignment between business and technology will have important repercussions for gender diversity in IT. Whereas men typically enter and leave client meetings with a clear goal in mind, women often start by asking questions. Because women tend to be good listeners and adopt an oriented perspective, they are often able to uncover the client’s root problem, which allows them to perform at a high level. This is a refreshing approach to business, and I hope that we can welcome more women into our field because these qualities are highly desired. This is one of many reasons Cisco promotes gender diversity through a variety of programmes. Internally, I am a member of Cisco’s Connected Women, a

knowledge. In the graduate programme I was trained on

networking group that seeks to drive women’s

all aspects from building a foundational understanding

participation in leadership roles. Externally, I am

of IT solutions and how technology works within

involved in planning Girlsday, an immersive experience

organisations to personal development in areas such as

designed to cultivate an interest in technology amongst

presentation and negotiation skills. The combination of

young girls. I am grateful for the opportunity to combine

training and on-the-job experience helped me prepare

my professional knowledge with my personal passion

for the next step in my career. During the on-the-job

for connecting people in both my work and my service

portion, I was assigned to the public sector team. I had

at Cisco.


a mentor to guide me through my first nine months on the job. Participating in this programme helped me to not only acquire the knowledge I needed to succeed in the role, but also to feel confident in my ability to add value to my clients. In my own world, I’ve observed that more and more women are beginning to discover the particular value


Cathy Boers Cocky Booij Director VHTO

Denise Edwards Cloud Account Manager Eline Brandt Business Technology Sales Consultant Oracle

WE NEED TO ­DEBUNK THE MYTHS ABOUT WHO BELONGS IN TECH At Oracle Digital in Amsterdam, Denise Edwards and Eline Brandt team up to guide their customers through their digital transformation. As young women and Millennials working in the tech industry, they hope to change public perceptions about who belongs in tech.

What does a typical workday look like at Oracle?

Because I support seven sales reps, I work with really

Denise: As an account manager, I focus on building

social people every day. For me, this is why working at

relationships and finding new customers to join us

Oracle is so much fun: I get to work on the technical side

on the journey to the cloud. Every day, I search my

and be a total nerd, but I also get the social interaction

networks and social media for potential clients and

I want in my work environment.

speak with them about how Oracle’s products can help them achieve their goals. Within our team, every

What can be done to promote a culture diversity and

account manager is paired with a sales consultant.

inclusion within the tech industry?

When the conversation gets technical, Eline jumps in

Denise: Several months ago, I hosted a guest lecture

to discuss the specifics. We work closely together to

for a group of students. When I asked whether anyone

engage new clients and get partners on board.

was interested in working in tech, there was very little enthusiasm. The students asked questions like, ‘Don’t

Eline: While Denise focuses on the people part, I focus

I have to study engineering for that?’ and ‘What does

on the technical aspects of our solutions. For example,

that even mean?’ Young people today seem to have a

I jump in when the customer wants to know what

limited idea of what working in tech really means.

specific product might work best or discuss a particular

We need to show them that there are many different

infrastructure or architecture. On a day-to-day basis,

careers and opportunities within the field. We can start

I spend my time demoing products, working at partner

right now by providing strong role models and sharing

events and reading up on the latest innovations.

the stories of young, vibrant people working in tech.



Eline: Most people think technology careers are for engineers and developers, or in other words, really analytical people. And it’s true, these people are important. But there’s a big gap between the technology and the solution the end customer wants — and there isn’t just one position in-between, there’s a gazillion. Growing up, I always loved technology, but I never thought I was good enough to do it as a career. While I was building WordPress sites, my friends were out there writing code and building websites from scratch. I’ve since learned that many different personalities and skillsets can add value in the tech industry. It’s just a matter of finding where you belong. So to all the young


women out there who are interested in tech, don’t hold yourself back because you lack knowledge or you think you’re not good enough. There’s room within this field for all different kinds of people.

Denise: It’s true, and that’s why it’s so important to be open-minded as you start your career. After I finished

What advice do you have for students as they graduate

my master’s in business, I thought, ‘Okay, now what?

and begin their careers?

What do I want to do with my education?’ I’m still

Eline: After I started working, I found that you end up

thinking about it, and I think this is a generation-wide

in this black hole. You worked your entire life towards

challenge. I started with a job in recruiting and then

graduating, and then suddenly, you’re done. You have

worked as a consultant for documentary filming before

to set new goals. I think it’s important to be aware

I ended up at LinkedIn, which was my first exposure to

that everybody hits this point. I thought I was alone

the tech industry. I immediately loved the fast-paced

until I started discussing it with my friends, and then

industry and how much I learned every day. In my

I realised that we were all lost. We are now three years

experience, the only way you’re going to find the right fit

out from university, and we might seem like we know

is to pursue your interests, try different things and hope

where we’re going, but we don’t. We’re just trying new

to get closer every time.


things and figuring out what works for us and what doesn’t.

Denise Edwards and Eline Brandt 100

Henk Kievit

Director of Executive MBA Programmes Nyenrode Business University

AS A GLOBAL ­MANAGER, I AIM TO HELP AND EMPOWER OTHERS Mimoent Haddouti is the Global Head of IT Continuity and Security Services at Rabobank. After quickly rising through the ranks and being appointed to a global leadership role, she was named the 2016 Manager of the Year by the Ethnic Business women of the Netherlands (EZVN) for her efforts to lead by example and open doors for others.

Today, I lead a team of two hundred and seventy-five

members, stakeholders and colleagues. My team spans

employees in maintaining Rabobank’s IT continuity

multiple continents and cultures, and I enjoy meeting

and cyber security. From the 24/7 Control Room, we

different people and thinking about how we can work

monitor the bank’s global IT landscape, and from the

together to achieve results.

Cyber Defence Centre, we keep hackers out. My team

Mimoent Haddouti Global Head of IT Continuity and Security Services Rabobank

also oversees global crisis management and IT process

When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a doctor or a

support. If there’s a disruption in our mobile banking

lawyer or a judge. I wanted to help people by ensuring

service, for example, we establish the process for

they were healthy and treated equally. I was certain

resolving the issue with minimal client impact. We also

that this would be my path. However, one lesson I have

manage the Service Desk of Europe.

learned is that life almost never goes as planned.

At Rabobank, my days are dynamic. On the one hand,

My first job at Rabobank was as an assistant. I took it

I look several years ahead from a strategic perspective,

after completing my VHBO studies in informatics and

and on the other, my team and I handle crises and

economics, and I planned to stay only a year to gain

security threats that surface every day. In practice,

professional experience before returning to my studies

I spend a lot of time in meetings – speaking with board

full-time. Before I knew it, that year stretched into




father in the Netherlands, where she did not know the


language or the culture. She raised nine children, and when the kids were raised, she went to school to learn Dutch. Her perpetual eagerness to learn and challenge herself inspired me. It has shown me that I can achieve anything so long as I am willing to work towards it. Along the way, I found many people who helped me up. I sought out mentors, both men and women, who challenged me and helped me learn. They taught me not to listen to people who try to set limits for me. I am grateful to these people because they taught me that the sky’s the limit. Now, as a global manager, an important part of my

two, and so on. Eventually, I went back to school and

role is to help and empower others. Sometimes this

pursued a different study. When I finished, I reached out

means challenging my team members and letting

to my former manager at Rabobank and began a career

them learn by doing. It also means giving them the

in project management.

freedom to make mistakes and the space to learn. I am

So, to the young women poised to take their first steps

proud of what I have achieved professionally. However,

into the professional world, here is what I have to say:

I did my job well. I started running small projects

I have only had the opportunity to do so because my

if you are eager to learn, there will always be people in

with one or two employees. Soon, I began taking on

family and colleagues supported me, believed in me

the world who want to help you up. You just have to find

larger projects. In what seems like no time at all,

and took chances on me. I aim to do the same for my

them and ask for it. As you begin your careers, explore

I was directing multiple IT projects, even though I had

team every day.

new interests, challenge yourself, and when you fail, do not give up. The world is yours – so give it your all, and

never studied IT. At this point, I began taking classes to develop personally and improve my competences in

When I started working in this field, it was rare to see

this new field. Eventually, I moved into a temporary IT

women in IT roles. Even today, when I look around the

management role, and it was made permanent after six

room, there are clearly more men than women in senior

months. That was six years ago now.

positions. However, in recent years, Rabobank gave diversity a lot of attention. Diversity and inclusion are



In Dutch, we have a saying: you have to jump into the

critical for teams to succeed. It is amazing to see how

water without knowing whether or not you can swim.

much can change in only a short time when a company’s

I first learned this by watching my mother, who packed

leadership commits to change. Within Rabobank,

up her children and left her home in Morocco to join my

remarkable progress has been made.

go for it!

Mimoent Haddouti


Corry Wouters Head of Cloud SAP Netherlands

WE MUST STEP OUT OF OUR COMFORT ZONE TO SEE WHAT WE’RE ­CAPABLE OF Corry Wouters is a digital leader with more than twenty years of business experience in IT and commerce. Over the course of her career, she has challenged herself to make a difference in the world through her commitment to innovation and digitalisation. In this interview, she discusses how we must continually step out of our comfort zone and expand our perspective to add value through innovation.

What excites you most about your new role at SAP?

across these industries. By embracing innovative

I’ve always aimed to work for companies that contribute

technologies and the Internet of things, SAP intends to

to innovation in their industries through digitalisation.

have an impact in the digitalisation domain.

In the past, I worked for Philips, which is bringing innovative digital solutions to hospitals and the

You’ve worked with innovation and digitalisation in

healthcare domain. Philips is really changing how

many different contexts. What keeps drawing you

doctors are treating patients and how we as humans

back to this field?

are healed after sickness and cancer.

Through digitalisation, we are able to accomplish what was once thought to be impossible. Only a few years

As the Head of Cloud at SAP Netherlands, I am leading

ago, the world was afraid we would run out of petrol.

four lines of business as they transform and join the

But look at what happened instead – we developed the

cloud: human resources, e-commerce, procurement

electric car. Technology changed the whole discussion.

and cloud hosting. This is the first role of its kind at

If I had proposed twenty years ago that all cars would

SAP. It is quite different from my previous roles, and

eventually become electric, nobody would have believed

I am excited for the challenge. My teams are focusing

me. In fact, people would have thought I was mad! In

on developing end-to-end solutions for our customers

many ways, you kind of have to be mad to change the




world. By thinking differently, we can solve real issues

do not learn this way. No matter what our level within

the technical teams, we haven’t seen this same growth,

in the world.

a company, we have to drive our own development and

which is a pity, but there are more women than there

push our limits to see what we’re capable of.

were twenty ago.


I get a lot of energy from leading my teams to more

I recently attended a ladies business networking

At the individual level, I encourage people to discover

efficient and effective ways of working. All leaders

evening where women at SAP were invited to share

where their talents lie. After working in a role for two

should aim to take their teams to a higher level: when

their thoughts about digital leadership. The former

or three years, everyone should work in a completely

their teams grow, they grow. Sometimes, as managers,

managing director of SAP Netherlands joined and

different area to see if they’re good at something else. If

it’s easier to handle tasks by ourselves. However, by

shared her story. It must have been quite interesting for

you work in application development, you should explore

letting our team members take on the difficult and

the young women attending to hear that it is possible to

infrastructure. If you work in sales, go into marketing.

innovative projects, they can learn and we can steer as

become the director of a company before the age of fifty.

By placing yourself in unfamiliar circumstances, you will


How do you develop a culture of innovation on your

What do you want young women to know about what it

develop skills faster than you ever could by repeating


the same tasks every day. Challenging ourselves in this

How has gender diversity in the workplace changed

takes to succeed in the digital world?

way helps us keep a fresh perspective and stay sharp

since you began your career?

You must spend your lifetime learning. If you want to be

in what we do.

I look at the women of this world – particularly the

innovative, you need to continuously read about and use

new generation of young women – and I don’t think

new technologies. Of course, education doesn’t have

From the management side, it’s important to develop

they need the same help that I needed. I turned fifty

to mean sitting in a classroom. There’s self-education,

the talent on your team by giving people opportunities

this year. When I left university and married, everyone

online learning, master classes, professional trainings

something I learned in my personal life or something

and challenging them. We sometimes limit the growth

expected me to have children and work part-time.

and YouTube tutorials. I read a lot of interesting and free

I heard on the radio. When I looked back at the end of

of the individuals on our team by assigning the same

Instead, I chose to have a family and work full-time, and

information on LinkedIn. Whenever a topic piques my

twelve weeks, I saw how much I could learn by adopting

types of projects over and over again. However, people

I raised a lot of eyebrows with this choice.

interest, I look it up on Google or Wikipedia. I recently

this mindset and simply being open to new ideas.

joined the RightBrains Digital Leadership Programme


When I look at the women in my office, I’m proud

at Nyenrode, and when I attend class, I pay attention to

My advice is to take a job outside your comfort zone

that I made it. But I am also proud that this younger

what my professors say. I read the supplemental books

and learn as much as you can. Figure out what you

generation has made it, and that young women today

and articles. I watch the videos they share, and I try to

want. Seek out people who will teach you and help you

see having a career as a natural and accepted choice.

learn as much as I can.

achieve your goals. Discover the boundaries of what is possible, because right now, you have all the potential

This isn’t to say that they have it any easier than I did, but they have a different set of challenges in the workplace,

Learning also has to be social and fun. People need

and this is a start.

to talk about innovation with their colleagues and the

in the world. You have only to grasp it.

people within their networks. It’s important to learn At SAP, I see a lot of young women in areas where we

from strong managers and leaders. Lifelong learning

had very few women while I was building my career,

is something we talk about, but I really try to practise it

particularly in sales, consulting and support. Within

every day. Somebody once told me to write down what

Corry Wouters

I have learned in a notebook each night. It could be


A big thank you Many organisations realise the urgent need for more women in digital technology. First, there’s an enormous gap between the demand for and supply of digital talent. Second, more women choosing a career in this field will eventually result in greater diversity. Research clearly shows that diversity is important for organisations to innovate and grow. We want to thank all the organisations that have supported our mission and made this guide possible.

Anderson MacGyver We create value through IT for our customers by

According to Anderson MacGyver, advisory organisations

stimulating them to innovate, by improving the way they

achieve good results when their consultants practise

operate and by enabling the change they need.

their jobs authentically and passionately. This is

Anderson MacGyver was founded to help organisations

why Anderson MacGyver pays a lot of attention to

apply technology and data in a smarter way to get

the development of subject matter expertise and

more business value from IT. According to Anderson

invests a great deal of time in skills development and

MacGyver, IT and business are inseparable. Having a

company collaboration. Our preference is to build

joint vision and strategy for targeting their services to

multidisciplinary teams that utilise jointly developed

their customers is essential for organisations that want

concepts and approaches to accomplish tasks.

to play an important role in an increasingly digitalised market.







APG plays a leading role in the pension sector. It is our

We are passionate people determined to deliver

CBR is a public independent governing body charged

We shape the future of the Internet by creating

job to focus on the future. ‘Building your sustainable

excellence in everything we do. We are committed

by the Minister of Infrastructure and Environment with

unprecedented value and opportunity for our customers,

future together’ is our mission. This means that we

to helping our clients succeed and to developing

the road safety. This involves assessing the driving

employees, investors and ecosystem partners.

actively work with all our stakeholders to ensure

and empowering our people. Through teamwork we

skills and fitness to drive of potential drivers and the

the continuity of the pension (based on collectivism

deliver greater results and create more value. Through

aptitude of transport and logistics professionals to

Cisco is the worldwide leader in IT that helps companies

and solidarity) and its ability to stand up to future

stewardship we focus on good long-term growth and

perform their duties.

seize the opportunities of tomorrow by proving that

developments in the long term. In combination with

development. Together, our values and principles guide

our vision for the future, we feel that we bear some

and encourage us to achieve lasting success for our



previously unconnected. At Cisco customers come

responsibility for many people’s grip on their financial

clients and our firm.

transparency and innovation. CBR innovates and

first, and an integral part of our DNA is creating long-

improves its processes and products to offer society

lasting customer partnerships and working with our

the best possible product at an acceptable price. CBR

partners to identify their needs and provide solutions

we have defined our ambition as follows: ‘APG is the

constantly updates its exams to reflect developments in

that support their success.

natural choice to gain control of your financial future.’

the area of mobility.

future, with attention to individual wishes and respect for the world that we all share. Based on this mission,


amazing things can happen when you connect the policies




www.cisco.com APG’s motto is ‘tomorrow is today’. This conveys the

As long as society, traffic and technology evolve, CBR

message that APG works hard every day to ensure

will need to update its exams. To prepare the best

tomorrow’s pensions. It also underlines that a good

possible theoretical and practical exams for the current

investment strategy and sound pension management

traffic policies, continuous review of applicable content,

today form the basis for a good pension in the future.

objectives and presentation is required. Good driving

The motto furthermore constitutes a guideline for

schools are becoming more and more important for

APG’s corporate social responsibility. The management

candidates to achieve the desired level of preparation.

approach in part focuses on creating a liveable world

Society benefits from good preparation for road

for current and future generations.

safety. Therefore, interaction between candidates, driving schools and partners is becoming increasingly


important. www.cbr.nl



Conclusion BAM


Landal GreenParks


Conclusion is the name of our unique ecosystem

We believe in a society in which communication

Landal GreenParks is a dynamic, leading organisation

Nationale-Nederlanden offers a complete selection of

within business transformation and IT services. We

technology enriches, completes and simplifies life.

for the management, administration and hire of

products, including insurance, pensions, (bank) savings,

serve start-ups, growing businesses and established

In this society, KPN wants to be the binding factor for

bungalow parks. Landal has more than eighty parks

mortgages, investments and loans. The combination

names. We initiate, facilitate, develop, maintain and

people and organisations at home, at work and on the

with more than three thousand and seven hundred

of expert and involved employees, good products and

innovate, and we do so continually because the world

road. We have the resources and the techniques to

accommodations in total. With fifty-four parks in the

services, along with a proper proportion between price

is continually changing. Digital transformation is in

provide a trustworthy fixed and mobile network.

Netherlands, Landal is the largest Dutch bungalow park

and quality, enables us to find the best solutions for our

provider. Outside the Netherlands, Landal has parks


our genes. We solve problems and capitalise on new opportunities every day. We are driven by our motto:

With our knowledge and experience, we make our

in Germany, Belgium, Austria, Switzerland, the Czech

business done differently.

services and products accessible for everybody at

Republic, Denmark, England and Hungary. Seven of the

With more than one hundred and seventy years of

all times and everywhere. We do what people expect

parks have a campsite, with more than one thousand

experience in insurance, Nationale-Nederlanden has

us to do. We make the unusual true. KPN believes in

four hundred and fifty camping pitches in total. Some

built up expertise, which we apply daily to help our

technology, the power of communication and the power

three thousand employees work at Landal GreenParks.

customers get ahead in life in a personal way by offering

of connection. We are the network that brings the

Landal GreenParks distinguishes itself from other

a personal service that suits their lifestyle.

Netherlands further.

suppliers by the open nature of the parks. The concepts


of peace, space and nature are the main characteristics www.kpn.com


of the parks and the most important reasons why our guests choose Landal. Landal GreenParks feels closely connected with its nearby surroundings and promotes nature, the guest and society. www.landal.com





Royal FloraHolland

With more than four hundred and twenty thousand

Rabobank is a bank that is run for clients. Established



SAP’s vision is to help the world run better and improve

customers and deployments in more than one

in the Netherlands, we have grown to become an

colours, represent beauty and feeling. Plants contribute

people’s lives. This is our enduring cause and our

hundred and seventy-five countries, Oracle offers a

international financial services provider active in

to a beautiful and healthy environment. Together with

higher purpose.

comprehensive and fully integrated stack of cloud

the areas of banking, capital management, leasing,

our members and their customers, we make the world

applications, platform services and engineered systems

insurance and real estate. We are a cooperative bank

a more beautiful and healthier place full of beautiful

Our customers look to us to help them seamlessly

to empower modern business. For most companies,

with agricultural roots. We know the agricultural sector

flowers and plants.

connect people and technology in real-time. We help

flexibility is critical. Oracle provides a wide choice of

like no other. Moreover, it is our ambition to be the

software, systems and cloud deployment models –

global leading food and agri bank.

including public, on-premises and hybrid clouds – to






them reimagine business and life to drive meaningful Our mission is ‘Flowering the World Together, Planting

impact globally. With the great simplifier SAP HANA,

Seeds of Opportunity for our Members’. In this powerful

our customers are creating breakthroughs that solve complex, intractable problems.

ensure that technology flexes to the unique needs of a

Rabobank wants to be a part of building a better living

sentence, we state what our cooperation represents.


and working environment for and with its customers.

‘Flowering and Planting’ refers to the two core products

Our primary mission is to help our customers achieve

of our members and their customers. ‘Together’ Royal

As the market leader in enterprise application software,

their ambitions. We also feel a sense of shared

FloraHolland brings the floriculture chain together.

SAP is at the centre of today’s business and technology

responsibility for our customers’ growth.

‘Planting Seeds of Opportunity’ refers to our key task of

revolution. SAP helps you streamline your processes,

creating opportunities for our industry. Finally, ‘for our

giving you the ability to use live data to predict customer

Rabobank is a socially responsible bank. We are

Members’ explains that we exist not for our own benefit

trends – live and in the moment, across your entire

committed to making a substantial contribution towards

but for the benefit of our members and their customers.

business. When you run live, you run simple with SAP.

achieving wealth and prosperity in the Netherlands

This is why we are optimising our logistics and taking

and to resolving food issues worldwide. We focus on

control of floriculture standards. We are continually

strengthening our customers and their communities to

working to cut costs and improve our processes and

achieve these objectives.

services. In other words, we are going back to the core



of our business. www.rabobank.com www.royalfloraholland.com





We aim to relieve our customers of any unnecessary

TomTom empowers movement. Every day millions of

worry, whether pertaining to mortgage services or

people around the world depend on TomTom to make

support services. Stater aspires to astound its clients

smarter decisions. We design and develop innovative

with high-quality services for every aspect of the

products that make it easy for people to keep moving

mortgage process. We offer exceptional client focus at

towards their goals.

competitive rates. Our map-based components include map content, Our short-term aim is to set the standard for mortgage

online map-based services, real-time traffic and

services. Our challenge is to be better, faster and

navigation software. Our consumer products include

cheaper. We accomplish this by thinking and acting in

PNDs, navigation apps and sports watches. Our main

consumers’ interests and by organising our processes

business products are custom in-dash navigation

as efficiently as possible.

systems and a fleet management system, which is offered to fleet owners as an online service with

We seek to be successful by contributing to the success

integrated in-vehicle cellular devices. Our business

of our clients. This forms the basis of our core values,

consists of four customer-facing business units:

which provide direction and express what we stand for.

automotive, licensing, telematics and consumer.

We want our clients and employees to know us for being customer-oriented, results-oriented, entrepreneurial, cost-conscious and collaborative. www.stater.nl



About the author Geke Rosier is an entrepreneur with more than

the RightBrains Digital Leadership Programme, a

twenty-five years of experience in marketing for digital

year-long course designed to educate managers about

technology companies. In 2004, she co-founded her

the latest technologies and their impact on strategy,

first company, a consulting firm specialised in business


and IT alignment. Over the next decade, she developed

leadership. These modules are taught by prominent

a passion for the speed of digital technology and

Nyenrode Business University lecturers and experts in

diversity. She began to see that the digital economy

the field of digital technology and leadership.





needs more talented women in order for companies to drive innovation and growth. In 2014, Geke founded


RightBrains to advance this idea.

University and her MBA at Thunderbird School of







Global Management, American Graduate School of RightBrains is a career and knowledge platform

International Management. She is the co-author and

intended to inspire, educate and connect women

creator of the book Ronde vormen in IT (2011) and the

working in digital technology. In 2015, Geke launched

magazine IÂ Lof IT (2015).

About the editor Samantha Mendaros is a writer and editor. As the

Samantha has a background in public relations and

creative director at The Missing Ink, she helps

public policy. Through a fellowship at Ketchum,

individuals and organisations find their voice and

she executed campaigns for national brands and

connect powerfully with audiences.

associations in the corporate and public affairs practice. She also served on the press team for the first

Before becoming an entrepreneur, Samantha was

woman senate president at the Massachusetts State

a learning and development specialist at Google,

House. She earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism

where she helped launched global business acumen

and public relations with a minor in political science at

and leadership training programmes. She was most

Boston University.

inspired by her work on the Google Business Academy, a year-long programme focused on digital leadership, and by the trainings she attended on learning agility and unconscious bias.


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