5 Awesome Women 2020

Now seven 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 2020.

Maartje Frederiks – In the context of WINext Scale Up Executive Track, I’m always on the lookout for female CEOs who are scaling their companies and last year I had the opportunity to meet Maartje. In 2012 she successfully founded Hello Fresh and scaled the company up until its IPO. She stepped back last year and is exploring new entrepreneurial pathways.

Megan Hellstedt – Over the last year, I’ve worked with Megan and her team as they’ve brought healthy & sustainable to the core of Ahold Delhaize brands. Food is the single strongest lever to optimise human health and environmental sustainability on Earth (see EAT Lancet report) and it’s great to see a food retailer making steps to take up its role and renew its business.

Dr. Katrin Kaeufer – On IWD 2010, I was in Dhaka, Bangladesh running the inaugural young leaders programme for the Global Alliance for Banking on Values (GABV) together with Katrin. We were hosted by BRAC bank at their University Campus. It was an inspirational week working with women who take a stand for values based banking. Besides working with GABV, she is also co-founder and research director at the Presencing Institute and research fellow at the Community Innovators Lab (CoLab) at MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning.

IWD 2010 at BRAC’s University Campus in Dhaka, Bangladesh

Ruth Dobson – Ruth and I met and had a chance to work together when she was Director of Corporate Purpose for Burson Cohn & Wolfe. Ruth had spent 10 years in China working with PwC and stepped back from her role as partner to return to the UK. We worked together on an intensive project re-discovering and renewing the corporate purpose of an Asian food retailer and then helping to bring that purpose to life via new business models. And as you can see below, when we had a chance to take a small break, we had quite a bit of fun!

Giggling at Khao Yai National Park

Carolien Brinks – Carolien and I met well over a decade ago when she was working with Trompenaars Hampden-Turner and we realised we had a mutual close friend in common. Besides a wonderful friendship, in the last years we had the chance to work together to renew the purpose and goals of Deerns, an MEP firm leading the realisation of some of the most sustainable buildings on the planet.

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