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,
EXPERT DIGITAL STRATEGY
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
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,
DIME – DATA IS ME
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
WOMEN IN CYBER SECURITY FOUNDATION
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,
Bringing d igital s olutions to healthcare
With data s cience, we p rovide unforgettable holidays for our guests
EXPERT DIVERSITY AND PERFORMANCE
Denise Edwards, Eline Brandt,
I work at the edge of b usiness and technology Femke Jacobs,
Cathy Boers , CISCO
It’s time to reinvent the workplace to u nlock the potential of diversity Kay Formanek,
EXPERT CYBER AND ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
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 masterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;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
Out of the blue, I had to start thinking about my next career step.
I WANT TO EXPAND THE POOL OF DIGITAL TALENT BY ATTRACTING MORE WOMEN TO THE FIELD
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.
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 Âcustomers. In the digital era, diversity and the development of soft skills, such as creativity, experimentation and empathy, enable organisations to better meet their customersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; 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
AS MACHINES TAKE OVER THE DATA SIDE, IT WILL BE OUR JOB TO FOCUS ON THE HUMAN SIDE
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
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.
EMPATHY WILL BE A CRITICAL COMPETENCE FOR THE MARKETERS OF THE FUTURE 19
Sharina Kiesebrink Jessica Eijgelsheim Founders Code Qube
CREATIVE THINKING AND SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT SKILLS MAKE US A SUCCESSFUL TEAM
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
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
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
I FOLLOWED THE DESIGN TRACK, WHILE JESSICA LEARNED TO CODE 22
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’S REALLY IMPORTANT TO BELIEVE IN YOUR OWN IDEA
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.
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
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
DON’T LIMIT YOURSELF BECAUSE OF YOUR PAST CHOICES
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
TO MEET TOMORROW’S CHALLENGES, WE NEED MOTIVATED, DETERMINED, RESILIENT AND SELF-CONFIDENT PEOPLE WHO ARE WILLING TO CONTINUOUSLY LEARN AND ADAPT
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
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
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?
I DECIDED TO QUIT MY JOB AND START TRAINING TECH COMPANIES
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
IF EVERYONE ON A TEAM THINKS THE SAME WAY, A LOT OF CREATIVITY IS MISSED
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
YOU DON’T HAVE TO PURSUE A COMPUTER SCIENCE STUDY Daniëlle Graat TO SUCCEED IN TECHNOLOGY
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
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
CYBERWERKPLAATS IS AN EXPERIMENT IN ACTIVATING UNTAPPED TALENT
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
WE ENTERED THE FIRST-EVER ALL-FEMALE HACKING TEAM
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
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
ADVANCED AI SYSTEMS WILL BECOME MORE USER- FRIENDLY 43
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
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
WE NEED TO ENCOURAGE A CULTURE OF CURIOSITY
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,
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 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
I’VE ALWAYS WANTED TO BE A BUSINESS CONSULTANT AND WORK AT THE EDGE OF BUSINESS AND TECHNOLOGY
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
TECHNOLOGY FUELS AND ENHANCES CREATIVITY. IT OPENS UP AND SHAPES OUR WORLD. WITH TECHNOLOGY, WE ARE ABLE TO CONTINUOUSLY IMPROVE PRODUCTS AND SERVICES AND POWER INNOVATION ACROSS INDUSTRIES
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
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.
I GO DEEP INTO THE TECHNICAL SIDE OF SYSTEMS, BUT IT ALWAYS TIES BACK TO THE BUSINESS
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
stand out and go for the roles you want, APG will give you opportunities to succeed.
PILOTING A BUSINESS IN TODAY’S EXCITING AND FAST-MOVING ENVIRONMENT REQUIRES PROMPT ADAPTATION, CURIOSITY AND KNOWLEDGE ABOUT NEW TECHNOLOGIES. THIS IS A GREAT CHALLENGE FOR ALL TEAMS
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.
WE CHALLENGE OUR TEAMS TO CONTINUOUSLY THINK ABOUT INNOVATION
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
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
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.
ALL OF US, FROM THE MARKETERS TO THE PARK RANGERS, NEED TO BE ABLE TO INTERPRET DATA 60
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.
COMPANIES MUST BECOME MORE FLEXIBLE AND EFFICIENT
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
WITHIN THIS CONTEXT, THE PEOPLE WHO FORM AN ORGANISATION ARE CRITICAL
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.
DIGITAL CONSULTING REQUIRES DIVERSE PERSPECTIVES AND A HOLISTIC WAY OF THINKING
the right place for you.
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
organisationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;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
WHEN A COMPANY INTRODUCES NEW TECHNO LOGY, IT MUST CONSIDER PEOPLE AND CULTURE
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.
THE DIGITAL REVOLUTION REQUIRES NOT ONLY INNOVATIVE SKILLS LIKE CREATIVITY, BUT ALSO LEADERS WITH A VISION FOR CONNECTING PEOPLE THROUGH PURPOSE
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.
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.
DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY IS CHANGING OUR WORLD IN EXCITING AND EXTRA ORDINARY WAYS
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
GREATNESS ISN´T BORN; IT´S GROWN. BE FEARLESS, BE BOLD AND PERSEVERE. TRUST YOUR INTUITION, AND MATCH YOUR CONFIDENCE TO YOUR COMPETENCE
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.
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
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
BREAKING WITH TRADITION, WE BUILT OUR OWN OPEN SOURCE SYSTEM
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,
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
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
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
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
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
for Royal FloraHolland because we want to play a role in
TO TRANSFORM A TRADITIONAL BUSINESS ON THIS SCALE, YOU HAVE TO ACT FAST AND ACT BIG
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
WE ARE ORGANISING NEW TEAMS AROUND DATA
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
DIVERSE TEAMS HAVE A GREATER CAPACITY TO UNDERSTAND AND INNOVATE
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.
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
YOU DON’T NEED TO BE A DEVELOPER TO BRING VALUE TO TECHNO LOGY ROLES
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
WOMAN TECHNOLOGY PROFESSIONALS INSPIRE YOUNG GIRLS TO CHOOSE STEM STUDIES AND CAREERS. THEY SERVE AS IMPORTANT ROLE MODELS AT THE SPEED MENTORING SESSIONS WE HOST AT SCHOOLS AND OUR ANNUAL GIRLSDAY
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
MANY DIFFERENT PERSONALITIES AND SKILLSETS CAN ADD VALUE IN THE TECH INDUSTRY
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.
EDUCATION IS QUICKLY CHANGING ALONGSIDE THE RAPID INTEGRATION OF BUSINESS AND DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY. THE SPEED OF TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCEMENT REQUIRES US TO NEVER STOP LEARNING
things and figuring out what works for us and what doesn’t.
Denise Edwards and Eline Brandt 100
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
DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION ARE CRITICAL FOR TEAMS TO SUCCEED
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
CHANGE CANNOT HAPPEN WITHOUT COMMITMENT FROM LEADERSHIP
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!
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
YOUNG WOMEN TODAY HAVE A DIFFERENT SET OF CHALLENGES IN THE WORKPLACE
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
BY THINKING DIFFERENTLY, WE CAN SOLVE REAL ISSUES IN THE WORLD 108
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
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, thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;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
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.
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
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
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
consumersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; 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 bachelorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;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
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.