Ever noticed how many women work with and for Power2Improve? That’s no coincidence. Validated by both our personal and our professional experience, we believe that women not alone can, but actually do change the world.

A while ago Nathalie and I were interviewed (click for podcast) by the highly inspiring American author, professor and consultant Deirdre Breakenridge. We talked on feminine leadership and success. On her podcast show Women Worldwide, I elaborated on my special start in life, and the prominent role that women played in it.

Professional women showing leadership has gotten me where I am today. Mrs. Thomassen, my first grade teacher, quickly noticed how I needed a make up for lack of affection in my first years and made sure I got loving warmth on top of my education. The several women I have worked for are, without exception, better managers. Better because they are willing to make tough decisions, that may make them unpopular. Like saying to my face: ‘I like you, and I am not going to hire you for this and this reason’.

Better also, because they don’t get distracted by unfairness they are faced with. Like for example my boss who, after announcing her pregnancy, got side railed. Or the ladies who were told their directorships would end some time in the far future. They all carried on, to make the best of it. Feminine leadership is modest, non-self serving and strong.

leader, leadership, woman, women, strength, strengthsNevertheless we find few women in the top of the business. Check out the stats on the right and below from consultancy agency Grant Thornton, published on International Women’s Day, today. As you can see, in our home country the Netherlands, there is still a lot of room for improvement, to say the least.

The International Women’s Day 2016 organization is calling for Pledges for Parity. As we have been doing so in practice since Power2Improve was founded in 2003, and before that on a personal level already, we wholeheartedly pledge and act to help women and girls achieve their ambitions (and the men who help them), and to call for gender balanced leadership.

leader, leadership, woman, women, strength, strengths

leader, leadership, woman, women, strength, strengths

I am aware that these facts and figures are underestimating the effect women have on making this world a better place. Modesty, improvable negotiation skills and hunger for actual improvements over personal recognition, in my observation, explains a lot of the gap between holding value and being valued in women. If you are a woman who is changing the world, if only a bit: thank you very much for playing that role, likely so in the shadow, even though it clearly is frustrating and hard. If you know such a woman: please express your thanks to them.

In honor of International Women’s Day and all the wonderful women in the world, we like to share these videos with you. We hope they inspire you to be more of the wonderful woman that you are. Use your strength creators, live your mission in life and change the world!