The Board of PWN Amsterdam enjoy celebrating the achievements of our great network and members each year at our Annual General Meeting (AGM). On June 24th this year, we hosted our AGM at The Rosarium in Amsterdam, celebrated with our members and guests, enjoyed the culinary delights of The Rosarium and were entertained by the great Boom Chicago! They consolidated the best of PWN Amsterdam in a hilarious, high energy performance. The AGM is a true example of the great connection, sharing and inspiration we aim for, and we'd like to share this clip with you...
The AIM of PWN Amsterdam: Grow your potential – connect, share and learn. MISSION: PWN Amsterdam believes in a stronger leadership role for women in business and society. Unlocking the potential of professional women by supporting their leadership development, through connecting, sharing, learning and supporting, is core to everything we do. PWN is unique as a global [...] read more
PWN Amsterdam AGM June 2014
Do you think you speak powerfully? Is speaking powerfully about being male or female? Is there any power in politeness? How can I speak more powerfully, not only in English but in any language I speak? These and more questions about language, gender and power were asked by Anne Murphy at the PWN Learning & Development event “The Power of Language” on Thursday, March 26th.
Anne came to us from the UK Lancaster University, where she conducts academic research on the topic of linguistic and gender differences in English. She met our PWN members and guests in Aristo Amsterdam. The event on Thursday was preceded the day before by a workshop for a group of 8 members. This workshop was aimed at identifying the source of powerful language in our professional & personal lives. Thanks to Kelly Joritsma, a designer of beautiful wedding dresses and a PWN Amsterdam member, we were hosted in her atelier Unielle Couture, Artemisstraat 180 Amsterdam.
We associate this power as strength in vocabulary or grammar, however it goes much deeper than that. Both women and men experience blockages and insecurities from speaking in public, leading discussions or business conversations. This is especially true if we use a language which isn’t native to us.
Anne shared common language misconceptions and some great practices. Powerful language comes from saying the right thing at the right time. Language is a tool that creates our social world and our actions. If we learn the power from amplifying our language skills, then leading discussions, talking assertively and building status will happen more naturally. Whoever speaks, controls who gets the next chance at speaking.
We negotiate power, always! On the surface, words don’t necessarily share the intention and position of what you are really saying. For those who attended the event, her example of “That’s the phone” “I’m in the bath” demonstrated perfectly what she meant. “That’s the phone” (shouted by one person) meaning someone else is responsible for answering the phone and I’m the one with the power to tell you to do it; to the response of the other “I’m in the bath”, meaning get it yourself and I’m not going to be dictated to.
In conversation and group exercises, we practiced: how to speak our mind; how to turn arguments to discussion; and how to bring tools of power into our language. Anne underlined voice moderation, tone changing, summarizing, as well as using silence (pauses) as great language power techniques. Complexity of language varies between cultures and genders; however language power comes primarily from confidence. Women have been trained in many cultures to be silent – this can lead to hedging more, showing more reticence in speaking. People who ask good questions have power.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Here’s one for you: do you know what the next PWN Amsterdam event is in calendar? Join our next event and ask Esther Mollema powerful questions about gender diversity.
Moderated by Helene Propsma, the discussion about a woman’s path to the boardroom flowed between business panelists Liz Early, Georgette Schlick, Cristina Vicini and the audience. Our guests shared their stories and struggles on their way to the top. A key issue that came from this vibrant discussion is: increasing a company’s and an organization’s awareness of women’s potential and enabling female employees in board positions.
The Woman on Boards working group is dependent on its network. One important piece of advice that came from our panelists, was to explore the network we have and build our credibility.
What are the external factors that hinder women on their way to the top? We debated about it, with laughter and yet with serious intent. Background, wealth or education could not be explained as reasons why we are hindered in reaching these positions. If women are determined and companies understand the value of female directors, nothing should stand in our way to the boardroom. That being said, perhaps what Esther Mollema will share with us on April 9th, might just explain why this doesn’t always happen. Check out this event here: http://www.pwnamsterdam.net/events/esther-mollema-mindbugs
What we all agreed upon is the crucial role of a mentor. A good mentor or sponsor can influence your career progress and promote you in your chosen profession. PWN Amsterdam offers its mentoring program to our members. This program focuses on leadership skills and career goals. For more information visit our mentoring page.
The life of a diplomat resembles a journey. A trip, which is taking you to places and situations, you dreamed of as a young girl. The key is to stay who you really are, shared Special Representative Marriët Schuurman. Don’t compromise who you are or what you believe in.
PWN Amsterdam had the pleasure to meet with Marriët Schuurman on February 17th 2015 in Hotel Casa 400. Members and guests listened to her experiences as a Foreign Services Dutch diplomat (having served in Russia, Africa and the Balkans). This past October, she was appointed as NATO Secretary General’s Special Representative for Women, Peace and Security.
We received some important advice from her:
A woman in a male setting is already visible. Make sure you are visible.
Women are often underestimated in their professional lives or are often judged. However, that misconception or judging can be a benefit. Being underestimated turns to advantage, since we can then prove ourselves positively – if we dare!
Women can dare to knock on any door they want. Say YES to the opportunities that knock on your door. They have a good reason to be knocking, so don’t second guess yourself or the person who is asking.
Vulnerability is a strength, while speaking of her own personal and professional career decisions.
She is embraced by the idea for which she is dedicated – a female role/perspective in conflict situations with peace as the goal.
NATO is opening up to recognizing women in the role of peacemaking and civil policymaking, especially for countries in conflict. Marriët is initiating NATO’s recent mandate to include the empowerment of women in this role and to shows the irreplaceable function of women in building peace and democracies.
Women are in a great place to de-radicalize fundamental beliefs. Women can reach to the source of conflicts with which they have a valuable voice and understanding of problems. Marriët’s priority, especially in the counties with post-war syndrome or undergoing military conflicts, is to show the importance of empowering women in the peace process.
PWN Amsterdam members and guests greatly enjoyed the journey with a NATO diplomat filled less with politics but with actions, ambitions and passion.