I am Steliana van de Rijt-Economu and I am a Mother. I started Mothers as Leaders and Ithaca Coaching to be a source of inspiration for mothers and fathers to dream more, to do more for society and to learn more about the world their children live now and the one they will live in the future.


I am also a leadership consultant with twenty years of cross-cultural working experience in multinationals who traveled the world to coach and develop both men and women in managerial roles.

I now live in The Netherlands but, as a dual-career couple, we traveled and moved around quite a bit. I grew up in communist Romania, in a small farm house, surrounded by a large extended family and a fair amount of sheep, goats and other farm animals.

The first years of my life have shaped my three most important values: family, freedom and independence. Personal development is a key driver for me and this was what drove my passion for developing leadership in people.

Ever since I became a mother I noticed how everyone tends to describe ‘motherhood’ as a problem you need to deal with, rather than as what it really is – a baptism in leadership. I started to keep a journal with my insights and became determined to pursue mothers in leadership. I interviewed mothers coming from all parts of the world (i.e. US, China, Mongolia, Nigeria, England) and their real-life stories are captured in my recently launched book on mothers as leaders. It can be ordered on Amazon or, if you are in The Netherlands via this website.

This blog is meant to share advice, insight and tips from mothers to mothers and to keep our network alive.

I welcome your comments to the posts and if you have a story or a lesson you want to share via this blog, contact me via the form.