5 Awesome Women 2019

Now six years running, in honour of International Women’s Day, I’ve named 5 awesome women; women who I appreciate, admire, have learned from and who I personally know. Here are my 5 for 2019.

Amy Edmondson – Together with my partners at ELP Network and Paul Verdin, we launched The Value Creation Initiative in collaboration with professor Amy Edmondson (Harvard Business School). Amy is one of the leading voices in the world on how a climate of psychological safety impacts the performance of teams. She’s recently published her new book on The Fearless Organization. You can also see a video of her together with Paul speaking about the role of boards in building fearless organisations to create more value.

Françoise Burlet – In an industry that is still largely male dominated, Françoise is a formidable female leader within Delhaize Belgium. Last year, they refreshed their positioning and vision for the future of food retail as ‘better eating is at the heart of better living’. It’s fantastic to hear her passion about inspiring customers to consider choosing healthier food options.

Aja Barber – I’ve yet to meet Aja in person, yet I enjoy interacting with her and learning from her via her engagement on Instagram and her writing on Medium. Her views on the future of sustainable fashion and retail are spot on and she does much of the heavy emotional lifting educating on the subtle biases persons of colour face everyday.

Evgenia (Eve) Logunova – I’ve known Evgenia since my AIESEC days when we were both running AIESEC in our respective home countries; somehow we both ended up living and working in the Netherlands and she continues to impress me with her drive, intelligence and enthusiasm. Besides building up her career in tech with an expertise in marketing, she is also the ambassador for Women in AI in the Netherlands.

Kathryn McKenzie – Kathryn is an artist, educator, filmmaker and runner. A few years ago she traveled to Afghanistan, donned a hijab and ran her first marathon with a group of Afghan women. I’m lucky that as a women running in the Netherlands or Canada I’m generally safe and only annoyed by the occasional catcalls; women in Afghanistan face a threat to their lives when going for a run. She has produced a documentary film about the marathon which will be released in 2019 and which you can also support.

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