Just got this info in from my mate Jacinta Noonan. I’ll plan on being there. Will you?


“Women mean business”, says Avivah Wittenberg–Cox, CEO of 20-FIRST. Studies indicate that companies with more women on their boards and in key management positions tend to out-perform those with less; 60% of graduates entering the workforce are women; 80% of the consumer purchasing decisions are made by women. If women are such an important economic force, then why are there still so few women top managers in the Netherlands? The question we want answered is, “What can Dutch companies do to ensure they accurately recognize and optimize women’s talents?”

At Branch Out, we believe the first step is to change the nature of the conversation about women and gender equality. With the traditional approach, change in the workplace has been incredibly slow. We need fresh approach and a shift in perspective. We need to realize this is not a ‘women’s issue, this is a ‘business’ issue. Companies in the 21st Century, with out-dated thinking, are going to lose their competitive advantage if they ignore the need for gender balance in top management.

To explore this topic, we would like to invite you to participate in the “Women in Leadership Forum”. We would like to hear your opinions on the following:

· Is the current business model, designed for a different era, still relevant in the 21st Century or do we need to re-shape it? And if so, how?

· How can a company accommodate women’s career life-cycles but at the same time, retain their top female talent?

· How can you develop a culture of ‘gender bilingualism’ in your company?

· What are women’s aspirations and motivations and do your company HR policies reflect these?

· How can you nurture the differences between men and women and gain the best from both?

The aim of the session is to provide the forum for a stimulating, high-energy discussion that stretches your thinking, challenges out-dated assumptions and inspires some ground-breaking new ideas. Furthermore, your input will allow Branch Out to reflect on our “Women and Leadership”-program to see if we are addressing the gender balance issue appropriately.

Date: Monday 11 May 2009

Time: 14:30 – Registration & networking
15:00 – Start of program
18:00 – Borrel

Venue : Soesterberg (Kontakt der Kontinenten,Amersfoortsestraat 20)

RSVP: Please register by Monday 4 May
Seating is limited so please register via email to Jacinta Noonan

Format: Welcome
Opening talk by Jacinta Noonan, Director Branch Out
Break-out groups with key questions to debate
Plenary session to share group ideas
Summary of the event
Borrel and informal discussions

A few months ago I was interviewed by Inga at Bare Essentials magazine. This is an online publication, produced by Yudu, which I blogged about the moment I heard about it. This magazine is about women who do things, many dangerous or active (ahem that does not sound like me!). Women in Action is its tagline. And if you would like to read Inga’s interview with me, simply click on the image below. You’ll find my double page article on pages 8 and 9. Simply click on the bottom right hand corner to turn the pages.


Dr Nina Cole is associate professor to the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University in Ontario, Canada. This week she released the results of her research study on expat spouses.

Dr Cole’s abstract is here, below, but you can read the executive summary on her website or mine in the Reading Room.

Spousal adjustment issues, increasingly career-related, are a major reason for expatriate assignment failure. Employer-provided spousal assistance programs have been proposed to address this situation. This field study of 238 expatriate spouses found that those who experience a severe disruption or cessation of employment have significantly lower interactional adjustment to host country nationals than others. For spouses with a career orientation to work, females had higher cultural and interactional adjustment than males. Only 18 percent of the spouses received employer-provided career assistance, and there was no significant difference in adjustment between spouses who received assistance and those who did not. Interviews with 100 spouses indicated that their greatest needs are for networking information to assist in their job search and for a ‘go-to’ person for practical settling-in assistance.

Tonight I am having a celebration. My 25th book is published and I reckon that counts as a silver jubilee, don’t you? So, I have invited the press, journalists and the movers and shakers of The Hague, as well as my supporters and should have more than 60 guests. Watch the blog for a report and photos!

Have you heard of EzineArticles? It is a site where experts and authors can post articles and which can then be sourced and used by ezines all over the world. It’s a great way to get publicity. Andrea Martins of ExpatWomen has done it again, and has just written about my new book, A Career in Your Suitcase. If you want publicity, maybe you need to take a look at EzineArticles.

On May 10th I had the privilege of being invited to attend the ordination ceremony of my friend Barbara Rogoski. Now able to perform ceremonies in English for people of any religion, Barbara is based here in the Netherlands. Her inordination as a Pathways of Life minister was the culmination of her own spiritual journey, which has led her from a high-stress, high-pace corporate sales career to this. Barbara runs a business called Authentic Matters. I was thrilled to attend her special day.
The new Expat Minister

I was recently interviewed by Jill Lengré at www.expatwomen.com. You can read all about it here