I have worked in several industries, but they have always been very male dominated industries. I realised through this group that I always struggled to be fully myself in those spaces, that I was always suppressing part of myself in order to be seen as professional or to be seen as in control – especially having emotional reactions to things that might be happening. I think the best thing I have learned from this group is how to be fully myself in a professional context and how to use my strengths as the person that I really am and how to use that to my advantage both as a leader, as a professional, and as a human being – we are still people in these professional contexts.
Personally, I am amazed by how fast the participants considered the LIS Woman group to be ‘a safe place’ to be able to bring their stories/their questions with them and share with the rest of the group in a very authentic way. How much trust can do – the women in the group have diverse nationalities, diverse backgrounds and it feels like they have known each other for a long time. The level of cooperation, support, listening and respect is stellar! The diverse backgrounds of the participants brings such a richness. Being based in different places, from different functions, brings so much value in the collaboration.
I joined LIS because of two main things: I know from experience the value of learning from peers and, having had a long career in many different roles in international business, I hope that I can contribute with insights and experiences that are useful for others. Being a women’s network, LIS provides a safe environment for discussion and learning. The group offers fresh perspectives on key topics, giving me the opportunity to both build on and challenge my own beliefs, and thus expands my mind. I always feel highly energized – and happy! – after our sessions.