Vreneli Stadelmaier, MSc (1962)
Holding an MBA, registered coach, source of inspiration, speaker, entrepreneur, author, blogger and publisher. In 2015, winner of the prestigious Joke Smit Award for gender equality, awarded by the Dutch government. Divorcced, married agian (with another man), mother of three children and two bonus children*.
Education: Business Administration, State University Groningen, the Netherlands.
Courses: Coaching course Dutch Academy for Psychotherapy, Orientation of being Liesbeth Wolfkamp, Deepak Chopra, NLP, Body Work, Enneagram, Meditation course.
Work experience in headlines:
- Sponsored magazines manager at Kluwer publishing company.
- Marketing manager and ICT project manager at Tiel Utrecht Insurances; chair of the works council.
- General Affairs manager and member of the management team at Thuiszorg Stad Utrecht.
- Co-founder of Financial Assets Executive Search.
- Lecturer in entrepreneurial skills at Tio College.
- Trainer/coach for various educational organizations, including the RINO Group.
- Founder/director of SheConsult.
- Guest lecturer in the field of leadership at Wittenborg College and the Free University, among others.
- Regular co-host at BNR Business News Radio on the ‘Doing business with’ programme.
- Frequent speaker and honorary chairman for companies, universities, and the government.
- Former member of the Board of Women’s Network Utrecht.
- District chair of NCD-Gooi 4
(Dutch Centre for directors and commissioners).
- Ambassador for Dutch Dream Foundation.
- Member of the Noloc Council of Members
(Association for career professionals).
- Chair of women’s network ‘Table of Weesp’.
- Columnist for ProfNews, HR Practice, and other media.
Holding your own in a masculine working environment
After I finished my studies, I held management positions with a large international publisher, an insurance company, and a home-care organization. My adventure in entrepreneurship began in 1995, as co-founder of an executive search agency in the financial sector.
Both during my studies and in the companies I worked for, I was often one of the few ambitious women there. That surprised me even back then.
I usually worked with male colleagues/managers. I had to discover and learn in practice that, to be able to hold your own and to grow, you have to learn to understand the game within that masculine culture and to play along.
But I did not always get it right. I sometimes wrestled with insecurity. Now and again, I felt lonely in my position. I struggled with the balance between my ambition and the situation at home. I was asked to become a director when I was 32. And I was angry with myself for not grabbing that chance at the time. Now I know that I made the wrong choices back then. But I ran into barriers, not least into the barriers within myself.
And around me, I saw girlfriends with a good education struggling with those same problems as well.
And then I saw the light. A new ambition emerged. I wanted to investigate the causes and effects of my behaviour and my feelings. I wanted to learn. So I went back to school. For years after that, I took various coaching courses and countless additional courses and workshops. I wanted to help women like myself. Because if I had had a coach at the time, who had been able to show me the way and who had given me a kick in the behind every now and then, things would have definitely turned out differently.
In the autumn of 2007, I started SheConsult, a coaching and training agency for highly-educated women. By now, I work together with more than 10 top coaching colleagues. All of them have a university education and are mothers. That is my starting point. You have to work from knowledge, skills, and be able to feel the experience, in particular. We provide coaching in various places in the Netherlands now.
Through all those hundreds of coaching sessions, with all those different women, I discovered the common denominator that bothers us so frequently: insecurity.
So that’s what this book is for. For you and for all other daughters of the Netherlands.
* Bonus children: With my second marriage in 2011, just like that, I got two fantastic children as a bonus.