Empowering Women in Leadership: Strategies from SER Topvrouwen 2024

Empowering Women in Leadership Strategies from SER Topvrouwen 2024

Event Sheds Light on the Path to More Women Becoming Supervisory Board Members

On 18 March, Wittenborg's Brinklaan location hosted the inaugural SER Topvrouwen meeting of 2024, shedding light on women's leadership and the pivotal roles of supervisory board members.

SER Topvrouwen, also known as Top Women Apeldoorn, was co-founded by Wittenborg CEO, Maggie Feng. Comprising women in leadership positions in prominent Dutch institutions and corporations, SER Topvrouwen aims to amplify visibility and accelerate the progression of female talent.

At this exclusive event, approximately 20 women had the opportunity to hear from Jannie Benedictus, a financial journalist, who shared insights on female participation over the past 25 years. Dorothea van Rijnen also discussed the role supervisory board members before the networking session.  

Feng noted that Benedictus provided intriguing insights, while Van Rijnen offered practical tips. "Jannie delved into topics such as the gender pay gap, part-time versus full-time work, societal perceptions of female participation, the balance between family, children, and career, as well as the surprising number of women who do not fear for financial dependence on their partners, often full-time working men. However, it is evident that while strides have been made towards gender equality, there is still progress to be made."

Empowering Women: Practical Tips for Becoming a Supervisor

Van Rijnen, a headhunter since the mid-90s, has been associated with Vanderkruijs since 2007 and joined Boer & Croon in 2022. With a focus primarily on public sectors like healthcare and education, she specialises in executive and supervisory roles within these domains.

She covered various supervision-related topics, including definitions, board composition, professionalisation, motivations, requirements, target demographics, pathways, and strategies for success.

Van Rijnen outlined the three main duties of a supervisor, which mainly involve overseeing long-term value creation, acting as an employer, and offering advisory support on strategic matters.

She also emphasised the importance of considering factors such as time availability, regional engagement, and relevant experience, alongside broader attributes such as governance understanding, adaptability and an open, listening demeanor.

So, how does one become a supervisor anyway? According to Van Rijnen, to become a supervisor, individuals can enrol in a modern supervision course, respond to (online) advertisements and network with agencies.

Excelling in the role, however, requires a blend of knowledge, skills, and attitude, including soft skills, a thorough understanding of corporate governance and personal effectiveness.

Additionally, visibility within the organisation and understanding current trends are essential.

She concluded her presentation with a powerful thought: Recent data indicates a positive shift in gender balance within supervisory boards, with 82% now having one-third female commissioners, as of March 2024. However, as van Rijnen suggests, when more women take on supervisor roles, reports like these will no longer be news, marking significant progress towards gender equality in leadership.

WUP 15/04/2024 
by Erene Roux 
©WUAS Press 

Empowering Women in Leadership Strategies from SER Topvrouwen 2024
Empowering Women in Leadership Strategies from SER Topvrouwen 2024
Empowering Women in Leadership Strategies from SER Topvrouwen 2024