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Tomorrow is the 8th of March, the International Women Day, #eachforequal, but...

What does equality really mean for us?

I grew up in a traditional family where the role of the woman and the man was set many years ago.

My mother was a girl with ambitions and my dad was a boy with ambitions and… as life happens, they both stepped in the traditional role of mum and dad at home.


They did that well for 52 years and, sadly, two weeks ago my father passed away following a painful terminal illness. While I am suffering terribly for his loss, I am also left wondering about ‘who I am’, ‘how I was raised’ and the huge vacuum in leadership my father left in our family.

My mother is left wondering who she really is, or better said who she is outside of the role she played for the past 52 years. She needs to assert a new type of personal leadership.

I started to wonder more and more about the leadership model I give to my children. They are watching every day how I communicate. They are forming a definition of equality through that lens.

One common thread I noticed in all the interviews I held for the ‘Mothers as Leaders’ book is the way both women and men attributed their drive to succeed and the development of their life values to their family context and to their childhood observation of their own mother.

At the funeral of my father last week I was reminded once again about the weight of that insight.

Equality in the opportunities for boys and girls, men and women will not be achieved only through corporate D&I targets,country policies and recruitment targets, the real equality is paved in each of our homes.

The equality is felt through the moments we create between each other and it is created through how we lift each other up through supportive communication and compliments or we bring each other down through self-defense communication.

Some people say that leaders are born, others say they are made. I think we are all born with the possibility of being leaders but also with the desire to follow because the desire to belong to social structures has existed in humans since the hunters and gatherers time.

We all want to be part of something bigger than ourselves: an idea, a dream, a purpose. There is a moment in life when you hear a beautiful story, a story that resonates and brings out something that was there, inside of you, all this time. You feel that a woman or man really understands you and has a vision that you believe in. You are inspired; you follow and together you have created…the Leader. Without you, she was just a woman with a dream.

In an ideal world, both boys and girls would have equal opportunities for following their dreams. Of course, achieving them depends on their personal commitment and their hard work, but we as society should not add extra barriers for women. In the year 2020, we still have a long way to go for achieving equality in our world of 7 billion people and 2 billion mothers. With a deadly coronavirus spreading so quickly we become even more conscious of the need for a new type of leadership for our planet, one that transcends borders.

I have made it my life mission to support women to continue dreaming and following their dreams after becoming mothers. This blog is a place to share stories, provide inspiration and learn from each other. Do subscribe and you will receive monthly articles. If you liked the article and you want to reach out, write me on the Contact form and I will be in touch.

If you are based in The Netherlands, you are invited to join the ‘Mothers as Leaders. Dare to dream’ workshop taking place on March 22nd, at the FemaleHub in The Hague.

Happy International Women’s Day! Let’s celebrate our successes and let’s DREAM FOR MORE.

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