Kick ass Dutch role models shaping the landscape for women yesterday, today and tomorrow

The Netherlands has its fair share of strong, powerful and influential woman. Some have already been awesome in sculpting our landscape and being inspiring leaders. Some are currently doing their fair share of awesomeness. Here’s just a couple I wanted to share –   

“I know what I want, I have a goal, an opinion, I have a religion and love. Let me be myself and then I am satisfied. I know that I’m a woman, a woman with an inward strength and plenty of courage.” 

A powerful quote from the most well-known, bad ass woman of The Netherlands – Annelies Marie Frank, better known as Anne Frank. The strongest little girl in history who started her diary ‘Diary of a Young Girl’ at the age of 13, while hiding from the German occupation of Amsterdam during the second world war. Her writing is so powerful and relevant today because she was not writing for fame or recognition, but to catalogue her thoughts and experiences. Her bravery, courage and shear tenacity is an inspiration. Her legacy is well and truly alive today and runs through the blood of most Dutch woman – strong willed, direct and determined. Her authentic vulnerability is what keeps her words alive today. High five to that! 

“She came and she conquered …” – that’s Maxima Zorreguieta Cerruti – the inspirational woman the Netherlands has fallen in love with … and wife of our Dutch King, Willem-Alexander. Maxima, born in Argentina, speaks three languages, has a degree in Economics and worked as VP of International Sales at Deutsche Bank in NYC before marrying the Prince. Maxima is the first Dutch Queen consort to have been born as a commoner. They changed the laws of the Kingdom to allow her to be Queen, something never done before in history. She is an active member of W20 – an engagement group and transnational network that brings together woman leaders of civil society, businesses, entrepreneurship ventures and think-tanks . In short she’s awesome and a real role model for international woman in the Netherlands. In times when I’ve been struggling with being an ‘outsider’ in the Netherlands,  her story has kept me going and made me have a quick word with myself!!  She gives international woman a purpose and an inner strength to keep on striving … we’ve got this!

2019 … the year of the pig, professional challenges, a new nest and healthy wishes

2019 started for me in Thailand, where I’ve just returned from my 3 weeks honeymoon. It’s called the land of the smiles … and I definitely feel energised from all the fabulous smiles I’ve received and I’m now fully charged and ready to kick start 2019 into action. On our way home we transferred through Xiamen China, where there was full on airport promotion to celebrate the year of the pig.  Apparently a year of fortune and luck – a great year to make money and a good year to invest. Well, here’s to plenty of that! 

I’m looking forward to starting the second year in my ‘new’ job and working together with some amazing international women. I’m proud to be part of a truly international team managing and creating marketing and communication materials and campaigns that span countries, languages and cultures.

On a personal note, 2019 is a very exciting year – I’ve bought my own house, yes back on the property ladder. Something I’m really proud of and I can’t wait to get the keys in April. The Netherlands is feeling more like home each year and I’m building my life here piece by piece.  A new house, a new home, a new nest and plenty more memories to create. Life is good! 

Happy New Year from the Netherlands.

Kirsty Mellor.

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