QWhat do you do?

I am a project manager/consultant in the property division of the Netherlands. If companies ask for advice on their real estate or their real estate processes I will manage these projects and, together with my colleagues, bring these projects to a successful result.

Quick Q&A

If we asked you to choose a woman scientist/ecologist/pioneer people should know more about, who would you pick?

Jane Goodall. Jane is a primatologist, ethologist and anthropologist, as well as a UN Messenger of Peace. Goodall is best known for her 60-year study of social and family interactions of wild chimpanzees since she first went to Tanzania in 1960, where she witnessed human-like behaviours amongst chimpanzees.

As a child she fantasized about a life among wild animals. But she was "just" a girl living nowhere near the habitats of the world’s most impressive animals, and with a “leggy blonde” image that some felt didn’t match up with a career in the sciences. Thanks to unwavering support from her mother Goodall found the tenacity she needed to realize her dream.

What job did you want when you were growing up?

When I was younger, I dreamed of saving (wild) animals and/or humans in need. I really wanted to make the world a better place and I was eager to make a difference.

Even though I have chosen a different career, it is still an important component in my life.

Outside of work, what are you most proud of?

I am proud of my personal development. During high school I was extremely hard on myself, afraid to fail or not being good enough. This had a suffocating effect and therefore I could not enjoy successes.

Now I can enjoy successes and learn from the things that did not work out. This feeling is something that liberates me and I try to pass this on to others as well.

QHow did you get into your industry?

Buildings and the built environment have always fascinated me, most of our lives take place in and around buildings. They have a very important function in our world. This is the main reason I started studying real estate management, and from there I started working in the industry.

QWhat advice would you give to your younger self?

Enjoy every single moment of live. The good, the bad, the beautiful, the ugly and the inspiring. And never let anyone’s ignorance, hate, drama or negativity stop you from being the best person you can be.

And my younger self will probably not listen at all to those cheesy words.

QThis year’s International Women’s Day theme is ‘Break the bias’, aiming for women’s equality and celebrating inclusivity. However, there don’t seem to be barriers for women entering consulting, ecology and similar roles. Why is this – what is this industry getting right?

Perhaps because women are just better at it ;) haha.

I don't know why the barriers are different per sector, it probably has to do with a bunch of components. Just like it is explainable why women are "behind" in the job market, but that shouldn't stop anyone.

In my sector (real estate) there are still many more men than women. I myself have never seen that as an obstacle but rather as a motivation. I notice that the world is positively changing, but that there is also much to be gained. Women do not need to be given priority over men, they do not need to be seen as equal because everyone has different qualities, but the qualities a woman has should count as much as those in a man.