Sandie Von Dorne
Executive Director Corporate Strategy & Genever, Lucas Bols
In your opinion, what qualities make a “Power Woman”?
It’s a women who achieved her goals professionally and personally and privately and that your able to stay a woman and have a private life and a professional life and have it all in balance. When I see women around me who are affected getting into of where they want to go that’s powerful
With all the different issues one could focus on, how do you balance your efforts in pursuit of gender equality? Is it a global approach or a specific issue that you are passionate about?
I have a hard time talking about gender equality because I don’t live from that paradiem to see the differences. I mean I see a lot of values mixes meaning of what you see men and women in an working place. What I find incredibly important is to train the people you empower young people both girls and boys and to train them to treat each other as equals. Everybody deserves the same place I really believe that it starts over there. In Netherlands a lot of talk about gender quota and board directors I don’t believe in that then you are too far along down the line. The question is do you educate your young women and your young men to work together and to empower them to go after there goals. I think that’s really important for the next generation when I see my children and step children, I think that’s where the real change is starting about and now if we put in a quota today its about women who already have made a choice either to take care of children or to work part-time. In the Netherlands we don’t have a lot of woman in management positions and higher positions it’s also because they have made a choice their not getting there not because they are not allowed its because there aren’t many available who don’t want to do that. It’s about the education and being young and you as a woman. As a woman you can have family ambitions you can also have work ambitions and for a man in a work place its both about men and woman.
If you could have someone else’s job for a day, who and what would it be? Why?
If I could be anything I would be a performer because I love to sing and perform with a passion. If I were able to sing like her singing and performing with that much passion. I mean she is really all about passion. If I were more serious I woluld be Chritina from CNN she’s such an inspiring person, influential not afraid, addressing the issues and very inspirational. She has a very elegant way yet knowing how to interview people. She’s not afraid to voice her opnion.
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
I don’t have any that I can identify with as a historical figure. There are a lot that I admire but non that I can identify with.
In what way do you work for women’s power and equality? What do you think is the number one action we as a society can take (e.g. affirmative action)?
I am not very active in politics I am very goal orientated person rather than a process orientated person as in politics in Europe I don’t think it differs as much in U.S. but they are very process orientated and very compromise orientated its just not something easy for me to do or something I like to do. But I am very much involved in an NGO called For Life which is all about empowerment for the young generation and that’s were a few make a difference. Its an Dutch NGO they work on different countries around the world and working on empowerment it was origannly started the fight against HIV/AIDS it has become an organization that works towards behavioral change on young people. The only way the young generation can have a better future they behave according to their goals, what are you and what do they want? Then we startto talk about how to get there and notes on empowerment and behavior skills and life skills. Ofcourse, you influence their sexuality and protecting themselves it goes much further to empowerment and life skills it’s also about equal education for both men and woman and you have to keep the boys as well.
Can you tell us a short story in which you encountered a block in the work place and what you did about it?
It started at university there was a teacher who was teaching macroeconomics while I was studying for my degree and he kept on saying what are you doing here, you are a girl. At some point I asked him a question about the board and the writer and I asked a question about modification. He kept on saying walk to the right,because there is a door and that’s where you should go, which meant it was not for you. When I got my degree the first place I went was the student office he said I couldn’t do it and here we go and if you are a women you often find to have a feminine side and looking back it has given me some trouble. Always gave me a trouble as an intern working for a company doing my thesis that I got it from a guy who was my boss at the time and I didn’t understand it. I know he asked me out and I did go out with him as colleauges I’m sorry I’m gonna stay over because you have an upcoming appraisal I’m extremely lucky that the other guy took over and saw what was going on. You do encounter these things and if you also show your feminine side you see other aspects of men and you can hurt their ego. I really believe in teach your young children well. Often woman can be there own blockage.
Have you seen any changes in the political landscape for women over the past few years? If so, what are they?
I think it’s wonderful for all these things to be happening in the world for more female presidents. The mayor of Amsterdam is a woman and I said that’s great news and then said Well, why is that big news its not normal. But, I also see whether or not as a woman and just judge. I find woman get judged for being harsh I never heard a man being harsh you know it’s a little bit of a bully for women immediately to it. If you stick out the head and do often I experience this myself and you stand for your roles and for yourself you also get judged to be and man will never get.
Was there a defining moment or experience in your life that led you to where you are today? What was it?
It was actually a man who made a difference to me, it was a boss when I was young and he slammed down his hand on the table and said Why are you being so damn insecure stand up for yourself that’s the only thing that is standing in your way and I took it to the heart. It’s good that someone sees all this potential in you, don’t be afraid.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Well, there’s a wonderful saying our colleague PFO always said happiness is becoming who you are. I love it, it just so simple that I don’t need to expand, it’s becoming who you are.
Who do you most admire? Why?
I admire a lot of people but if I had to choose one person it would be Oprah. She speaks her opnion and shows one side she is a business woman she goes for what she goes for. But, she’s also a woman both going hand-in-hand.
What is your favorite book (fiction or non-fiction)?
What do you most value in your friends?
Trust or confidentiality, you know the ease of being able to be yourself.
Which trait do you most deplore in yourself? In others?
My Dutch directness it gets me in trouble. What I really deplore in others is hypocrisy, dishonesty and going behind someone’s back.
What do you consider to be the most over rated virtue?
Well, I’m not a very big comprimiser, I think it’s overrated to make compromises.