feminine strength

Feminine strength and leadership, I find fascinating

Taking the lead as a woman in a mainly male environment and with different cultures. Standing strong and growing. She does it, my friend. I like it, love it and secretly I admire it.

Different worlds?

As lovers of salsa, we met at a social dance a few years ago. Dancing was our main priority, but during the breaks we loved to talk about work. She started as a team lead at a technical division of an international company, working in The Netherlands. An environment with a lot of technicians and operators. Later she was offered a promotion, going abroad and got an increase in responsibility. Being a trainer she had to improve workflow, processes and quality to align the foreign factories to the dutch and general standards. She was staying in African countries for a few months.

Challenging! Being female among men, different roles, seniority, race and culture.  She needed to use or develop new skills. Online and offline, we talked about it and I loved her stories. I also saw the beautiful panorama pictures and learned she stayed in a compound and needed a driver to go out. Adjusting yourself to another way of life. Learning your new, temporary colleagues to adopt another way of working.

Finding togetherness (everywhere)

I am in Haiti now! Staying here for work and a living”, so MJ told me this spring. My dear friend explained that she was asked to set up a new branch of her company. To build something new instead of improving an existing workforce. A next stage in her career and a lot of new stories to share. As before, in her former job, she invited me to come to visit her. I had to reject these attractive offers. I would have loved to see it with my own eyes, to hear about it personally.

Hear”, this spoken with a load of enthusiasm, “you need to know how many inspiring people I meet!” Lovely people, small and big differences in habits and working attitudes. Eye opening and mind changing. Of course I could imagine the energy she felt. Soon followed her desire. “I wished I could write like you, to share these experiences”.

Immediately I fell in love with the idea and wrote a concept, that we had to work on between working hours. Most of the preparations for sharing the stories are done and they will soon be published and supplemented.

Heart of Haiti

Taking cultural classes, learning the local language, it is the foundation of the work to be done. An unexpected advantage is social dancing. Dancing is a way of life in Haiti. And so it is for her and for me. Dancers will say, “dancing is connection”.

My friend found a dancing spot to go, after working hours. She met a teacher, owner of a dancing school. Dedicated to dancing and connecting people, organizing events to bring people together. No limits, even involving inhabitants from the Dominican Republic. Bridging a (cultural) gap. All these little stories, including the subject dancing, will be part of the main story “Heart of Haiti”.

“Open, open up… You can find inspiration, connections and chemistry everywhere.”

Connection and chemistry, it will help you to bridge differences and build something beautiful. Whether it is a new branch, warm friendships or (working) relationships. My friend and I are convinced, we have seen it. And we would love to share it. With stories from Haiti. From the heart of Haiti. From our hearts. While building, bridging and inspiring.


#FWOC2017 #EmbraceDiversity #togetherwewin #Heart2Heart #inspiration #building #bridging

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