"Either too nice, or a she-devil" - Women and leadership

Triangle Talk : "Either too nice, or a she-devil" - Women and leadership

Does the glass ceiling still exist? In Triangle Talk, a podcast by Hays Belgium, we answer challenging questions in a casual conversation with business leaders, labour market experts and professionals. Looking for inspiration to grow your business, or are you so unemployed that even your plants are starting to get tired of you? Then this podcast is for you! Our guests will give you insights into all the trends, pitfalls and challenges in the Belgian job market. Get ready to learn all about the modern job market, where the only certainty is uncertainty.

Linda Alblas - van den Burg, Managing Director of 'ICI Paris XL BeNeLux and Tamara Vereecken, Hays EMEA Director Front Office Systems discuss their stories and challenges as women in leadership roles in the first episode of Triangle Talk. Read the key takeaways and the most remarkable quotes from this inspirational conversation between two leading ladies in the corporate world.

"“The Glass Ceiling is an opportunity for women”

This first podcast episode starts with the perfect icebreaker: The glass Ceiling. Linda kicks off the conversation by walking us through her professional journey. There was a moment in her career where she felt like she couldn’t grow in a company because she’s a woman. This motivated her to look for opportunities elsewhere. Just like there are still a lot of companies where the glass ceiling still exists in 2023, there’s also an equal number of companies where this is no longer the case. Tamara agrees with Linda and adds that women should take matters into their own hands.

"First I’m too sweet, but when I get promoted, I’m a she-devil."

People like to say women are not strategic enough and this was also said about Linda. That’s why Linda decided to look for a challenging job where she could better develop her strategic skills. She adds that there’s a big difference in how women and men talk strategically. Linda doesn’t like when people beat around the bush too much, she preferences to keep things very straight to the point and practical.

“Choose a company with the right DNA and a cultural fit that matches yours”

According to Linda, one of the deciding factors in whether you like your job and if it truly makes you happy, is whether you fit in the company’s culture and whether the company’s DNA matches yours. Tamara advises to be completely open and honest during the application process. This benefits both yourself and the company. Pick an environment that makes you happy and matches your ambitions and personality. For companies, Tamara says that actions speak louder than words. Your employees should live the values you promote and stand for. Having a community you can rely on at work and in your private life are equally important.

“The media should work on how they present leading women”

Having previously worked in the media sector, Tamara says that media outlets play an important role in the topic of women in leadership roles. It shouldn’t matter if the person at the head of a big company is man or a woman. “IT woman of the year” should be “IT leader of the year”, gender plays no role in this title, so it shouldn’t be included. The focus should be on the achievement and not on the person’s gender.

“The Glass Cliff is a very tricky term”

According to Linda there’s two ways to look at the Glass Cliff. You can use its official definition which reads as “used with reference to a situation in which a woman or member of a minority group ascends to a leadership position in challenging circumstances where the risk of failure is high “. You can also view it as an opportunity to gain experience and grow. Tamara adds that you should look at yourself in this type of situation and follow your gut feeling. It has less to do with being a man or a woman, and more with you as a person.

“We’ll have to agree to disagree when it comes to gender quota”

The topic of gender quota might be the only topic on which these two leading ladies disagree. Tamara is partially pro quota because it forces companies to look in the mirror and analyze their practices. But it shouldn’t be a company goal, finding the right person for the job is more important. Linda adds that it’s better to get the job because you’re woman, than to not get the job for the same reason. And if you can’t find a woman for the job, you need to look harder!
If you enjoyed this recap, you can listen to the full episode here (in Dutch). Subscribe to Triangle Talk on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts and Spotify for more inspiring stories. Don’t forget to leave us a review!
Be sure to connect with us on LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook, and if you know someone who you think would enjoy this episode, please share it with them on social media.

Benedicte Mbayi

Content Marketeer Hays Belgium

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