The Next Women 100: illogical yet important

By Jacqueline Bosselaar, 18 May 2020

Yes! I’ve made it on the The Next Women 100 list, for the fifth consecutive year. I’m apparently one of the 100 ‘most successful and influential female entrepreneurs in the Netherlands’. Something I find both illogical and important.

Illogical, because it seems that it’s still necessary to generate a separate list for women. For a long time, I believed that our country is a place where women receive equal opportunities. However, this list shows that we’re not there yet. Even though it has been proven that companies run by women perform better than those run by men. It’s apparent that the glass ceiling really does exist. Having to acknowledge that is painful, but this list confirms its existence.

Important, to raise awareness for this issue. From the moment I was included in this list, I’ve slowly started to realise how it really works. I first thought: why is there a women’s list, can’t I be added to a ‘real’ list? But I quickly was hit with the hard reality. Statistics from the end of last year show that the number of women holding top positions is declining. Did you know that 75 percent of all companies don’t have a female board member? That women have to work one day a week more to earn as much as men? That 50 percent of women in the Netherlands still is financially dependent? 50 percent…

So it doesn’t hurt to give women more attention. I’ve met a number of inspiring wonder women through The Next Women 100’s network. I’m also constantly learning more about the road we still have to take when it comes to gender equality in the workplace. This is especially evident in the tech sector, where women are drastically underrepresented. There are still a lot of women who think that technology is not for them. But all companies eventually evolve into tech companies, which is why it’s so important to turn the tide. That’s why I think it’s fantastic that female captains of industries, such as Nicola Mendelsohn (Facebook) and Janneke Niessen (Improve Digital), but also young vloggers such as Jiami Jongejan, are actively committed to this issue.

I hope that the young female generation (of which I believe I am still a part of, haha!) can make sure that we don’t need The Next Women 100 in twenty years’ time. I also hope that diversity in the Netherlands will become as normal as our right to vote. If we succeed in realising this, we can say that The Next Women 100’s goal has been achieved. Until then, I’m secretly quite proud of my spot on the list and I’m committed to help break that glass ceiling.

PS: for a bit of inspiration, watch this awesome campaign from the beginning of 2017 that raised awareness for more gender equality in the workplace.