International Women’s Day news this week: there is some growth in the number of women company supervisors and board members in Europe, but if we are going to reach the EU's goal of 30% by 2015 and 40% by 2020, we will have to put in twice the effort. The current rate of growth puts us at 40% by 2040, according to the Dutch newspaper, NRC. At present, only one in seven board members of publicly listed companies is a woman.
Stichting De Beuk and NetSHEila intend to be part of the movement to shift the balance in the Netherlands. De Beuk has developed a program called Leading Ladies, and together with top women leaders offers a series of weekend sessions to work with women to position themselves in powerful roles.
NetSHEila provides the weekend on networking, in October 2012. We will look at the contacts - the friends, colleagues, families, old school buddies, acquaintances that each participant brings to the weekend and develop strategies to utilize these in claiming leading roles. The NRC Weekend article highlighted the way women who are in positions of power presently go about acquiring these roles. They get most positions by responding to advertisements. As Pamela Boumeester (53), former CEO of the Dutch rail NS Poort said "We have to make the rules ourselves. Don’t forget I am the first generation of full-time working women in this country. We don’t have a blueprint to work from, we invent our careers ourselves.“
At NetSHEila, we think there are networking strategies that can be used more effectively to bring more speed to the process of bringing more women to board rooms and supervisory boards. For one, de Beuk has delivered programs supporting women with political ambitions for over 25 years and has a unique database of effective leading women. Bringing these women and their networks of contacts together provides an excellent platform for finding the right woman for the job.
For more information on the program, don’t hesitate to contact either Wilma Ruis of De Beuk or Lin McDevitt-Pugh of NetSheila.
Lin McDevitt-Pugh MBA is a management consultant, project developer and manager in the public sector, private sector and civil society, based in the Netherlands. With a background in human rights and networking, she works with organizations to move the conversation from “This is not how it should be” to “This is how it will be”.
Lin gets very excited when she trains organizations in working with people as creative economic resources. By mobilizing the resources we all have at our fingertips - the people we know and the people they know - we can create unique knowledge, build trust and access the people and institutions we need to access.