Gender Equality Symposium A Contemporary Conversation on the State of Female Leadership

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Posted by: Veronica Guguian

Gender Equality Symposium A Contemporary Conversation on the State of Female Leadership

One of the AABC’s goals for 2020 is to create more events in partnership with other business organizations. For the first co-hosted event of 2020, we joined forces with the American Women’s Club of Amsterdam to bring you a symposium on gender equality and female leadership. During the symposium, local leaders from various sectors will discuss the state of gender equality and leadership opportunities. The conversation will highlight career opportunities, leadership, entrepreneurship, education, and societal perception. This program will be moderated by Tracy Metz, the Director of the John Adams Institute and host of talk show Stadsleven.

Highlights of the event

  • Current climate for women in business. Where are we now, what is next, and how long to achieve gender equality? How do we measure success?
  • Successes and obstacles in the workplace. Hear our speakers’ professional journeys.
  • Women in the workplace the US and the Netherlands & EU. A look inside business in both continents and how policy, government and culture play a vital role in equity in the workplace.
  • Where do we go from here. How can we impact change and break through barriers? What are you doing to affect women in leadership and expedite change?


Marja Verloop – Deputy Chief of Mission 

A career member of the U.S. Department of State’s Senior Foreign Service, Marja Verloop assumed her position as Deputy Chief of Mission at U.S. Embassy The Netherlands in June 2019. Previously, she was the Deputy Executive Director for the East Asian and Pacific Affairs Bureau, with administrative responsibility and oversight for 45 overseas posts and 12 domestic offices. Marja has also served as the State Department’s Director for Innovation and at Embassies around the world including India, Canada, Namibia, Malaysia, and Poland. A member of the Department’s Leadership Roundtable, Marja is also the recipient of numerous Superior and Meritorious Honor Awards.

Judge Kimberly Prost, International Criminal Court

Prior to her election as judge of the ICC, Judge Prost served as Chef de Cabinet for the President of the International Criminal Court for a two year term. Before joining the Court, she was appointed in 2010 as the first Ombudsperson for the Security Council Al Qaida Sanctions Committee. In July 2006, after election by the United Nations General Assembly, she was appointed to sit as an ad litem judge of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia on a multi-accused trial (Popovic et al) related to events at Srebrenica and Zepa.

Previously, Judge Prost worked for the Canadian Department of Justice for 18 years, appearing before all levels of the Canadian courts, including the Supreme Court. Judge Prost also held managerial positions with the Commonwealth Secretariat and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime delivering a range of programmes for States on international cooperation, money laundering and asset forfeiture, counter terrorism, implementation of the Rome Statute, and combating organized crime and corruption. Judge Prost graduated as a gold medallist from the University of Manitoba Law School.

Christina Moreno – CEO, She Matters Recruitment 

Coming from a background of poverty, Christina Moreno dropped out of high school at 16, became a mom at 18, and was on social benefits with no promising future at all. Yet after a life-altering event with her caseworker, she decided to pursue a degree in law. Today, she is the founder and CEO of She Matters, a social enterprise recruitment agency working towards the social and economic empowerment of migrant and refugee women. 

Ida Sabelis – Associate Professor, Vrije Universitiet Amsterdam

An associate Professor of Organization Studies at Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam. She holds a Ph.D. in Organizational Anthropology. She is currently working on a biography of the Durban artist and ‘bush wife’ Nola Steele and her husband, conservationist Nick Steele, who worked in KZN, which came about because of an interest in ecofeminism and the position of women in nature conservation. In the 1980s and 1990s, Ida worked as an organizational consultant on the topic ‘diversity in organizations’ in the pioneering Dutch institute of Kantharos (management of diversity). From the mid-1990s on, the perspective of time/s in organizations offered a conceptual framework further to theorize questions of complex inequalities in organizations (gender, multiculturalism, and diversity) and long-term organizational development (sustainability, future/s, continuity and change). Publications include “Gendering environmental sustainability and organization: Introduction,”Gender, Work & Organization'”25(3), 215-221, with Agnes Bolsø and Mary Phillips and “Hidden lives, invisible vocation?: Giving voice to game rangers’ wives in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa,” in Contemporary perspectives on ecofeminism (pp. 132-149), Routledge, with Harry Wels and Tamarisk van Vliet (2015). Her most recent book isAcademia in Crisis (2019; open access from Feb. 2020) with Leonidas Donskis and others, dealing with increased work pressure and commercialization of universities in Europe.

Sarah Woodhouse – General Counsel Europe, General Counsel Food and Refreshment Global, Unilever

Sarah joined Unilever in 2003 and currently advises on all strategic aspects of the company’s food and refreshment division from innovation to acquisition. She connects to a global team of lawyers across the world. Sarah was based in Singapore for 5.5 years leading the legal team across Asia and Australia on development and diversity and inclusion. She has the distinction of the appearing on the 500 Powerlist Benelux 2019. Sarah has extensive corporate experience in a global setting.

Moderated by Tracy Metz

Tracy Metz is a Dutch-American journalist, writer and moderator who is driven by her passion for our relationship to our built and natural environment. She writes for the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad and the American magazine Architectural Record and has a live talk show on urban issues called Stadsleven (‘city life’). She has written several books, all pertaining to the way we furbish and relate to our surroundings, of which the most recent was the best-selling Sweet&Salt: Water and the Dutch. She is also the director of the John Adams Institute, an independent foundation that provides a podium in the Netherlands for the best and brightest of American thinking.

Symposium Introduction by Susan Davis

Susan is the founder of Leadership Designs and its principal consultant. Her 20-plus years of experience with companies such as Microsoft, Amazon, Starbucks, and organizations including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the WNBA’s Seattle Storm, and venture philanthropy organizations spans executive coaching, leadership development, organizational alignment, meeting facilitation, and human resources strategy. Susan holds a master’s degree in applied behavioral science and is the co-author of Brand Driven, The Route to Integrated Branding Through Great Leadership.

Susan is a founding and extended leadership team member of Pivotal Ventures, an investment and incubation company created by Melinda Gates in 2014. Pivotal Ventures partners with organizations and individuals who share their urgency for social progress in the United States. They grow understanding around issues, expand participation, encourage cooperation and fuel new approaches that substantially improve people’s lives. Most recently, in October 2019, on the heels of her N.Y. Times best-selling book, The Moment of Lift, How Empowering Women Changes the World, Melinda Gates pledged $1 billion to gender equality.

Join us on March 17th, starting 06:00 PM to discuss the state of female leadership in 2020.

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