What does the International Women’s Day (IWD) mean to you and what experiences have you made in your career that address this year’s motto #EmbraceEquity?
The Women’s Right movement for equity actually started in 1848 already and we have ever since been working to give women equality in social settings, sport, education, voting rights, economic rights and in the workplace. This has come a long way and we can see more women in politics, the corporate environment and in sport, to only mention a few. For me, IWD celebrates these achievements and gives me hope for a more equal and inclusive future. When I think back to when I was studying Chemical Pathology in the 90’s, it was still a very a male driven profession. I was one of three females that were specializing in this field, which had many challenges. I am glad that I persevered because today I can inspire other women to move into this specialty and now there are far more opportunities than when I was studying.
“My professional journey” - A female athlete, and now in Sales. Can you elaborate on what this meant to you?
Work-Life balance is very important to me. Since I am a “all or nothing” kind of person who wishes to give my work, my private life and my sport 100% of my energy. Finding the balance between everything is very difficult sometimes and I need to make realistic decisions on which one of these 3 aspects might have to step back for a while until I can give it the attention it needs. In my current position, my first priority is to establish my presence in the Anti-Doping community, getting to know the customers and build trust. In some situations, a male perspective is still more valued than a female perspective, but I believe if I keep the channels of communication open the trust will come and more and more they will value my perspective. It is not just trust but respect as well. I have made a decision regarding my sport participation for this year, and that is to not compete in the 2023 season, but to rather keep training and build up to a stronger 2024 competitive season. This was not an easy decision to make but I do wish to focus more energy on Berlinger and InsituGen this year. If I lay a strong and solid foundation this year in Anti-Doping, then it will be easier to build on it going forward in 2024.
What does employee engagement mean to you and how do you go about it in your working environment?
Employee engagement is VERY important to me, since this determines the degree to which employees invest their cognitive, emotional, and behavioral energies toward positive organizational outcomes. Everyone gets tired and frustrated at times, myself included but in my role, I need to be the one that keeps the energy levels up and the motivation high. This I do by observing my fellow colleagues and engaging with them. Asking them how they are and truly listening to the answer. Give recognition where it is deserved and guide in a positive direction where needed. I am committed to the Principles set out by the United Nations (UN) Global Compact, I truly try to live by them in my work environment but also in my sports world. Promoting education, professional development, treating everyone fairly and secure safety and well-being for everyone are only a few of the principles that are close to my heart. I want to see other females succeed and become stronger in whatever they do. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 5 fits in perfectly with these principles I live by. To integrate females in the workplace brings a new perspective to the table and will have a positive outcome on the growth going forward.
I am proud to be a female in a role where I can add value and make a difference within the Berlinger organization and the Anti-Doping community.