I learned from the best

Whitney Houston once sang :

Whitney Houston once sang : “I learned from the best I learned from you”, It was a love song but hey today I am using it as a message to all the fabulous role models out there. 

We had a really fantastic International Women’s Day summit yesterday, you missed a great event. But hey I got you, below you will find 15 lessons learned from the 15 speakers we had!

So this has been a crazy week but I am super grateful because hey, how many people can truly follow their passion?!



It is 20 years ago since I had one of my proudest moments in my career. I had just started working at BMG a year earlier and was about to work on TLC’s album ‘Fanmail’. I was a big TLC fan and grew up listening to their songs so I was really incredibly fortunate to be able to do the marketing of their album in The Netherlands. ‘Unpretty’ was the 3rd single we released of that album. To me the song represents giving your power away. It talks about someone making her feel unpretty. So I decided to share with you one of my favorite poets, also in honor of today being the last day of Black History Month (which is celebrated in the US), by Maya Angelou. I love empowering women and this poem does just that!

I wrote down the version she once recited at the Oprah show:

“Pretty women wonder where my secret lies. I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size   
But when I start to tell them, 
They think I’m telling lies. 

I say, 
It’s in the reach of my arms, 
The span of my hips,   
The stride of my step,   
The curl of my lips.   
I’m a woman 

I walk into a room 
Just as cool as you please,   
And to a man, 
The fellows stand or 
Fall down on their knees.   
Then they swarm around me, 

A hive of honey bees.   

I say, 
It’s the fire in my eyes,   
And the flash of my teeth,   
The swing in my waist,   
And the joy in my feet.   
I’m a woman 

Men themselves have wondered   
What they see in me. 
They try so much 
But they can’t touch 
My inner mystery. 
When I try to show them,   
They say they still can’t see.   

I say, 
It’s in the arch of my back,   
The sun of my smile, 
The ride of my breasts, 
The grace of my style. 
I’m a woman 

Now you understand 
Just why my head’s not bowed.   
I don’t shout or jump about 
Or have to talk real loud.   
When you see me passing, 
It ought to make you proud. 

I say, 
It’s in the click of my heels,   
The bend of my hair,   
the palm of my hand,   
The need for my care.   
’Cause I’m a woman 

Phenomenal woman, all you women and me!

“Phenomenal Woman” by Maya Angelou

When Oprah asked her what the best piece of advice was that she has ever given she replied here and I quote: In order to get a friend you have to be a friend. And she said: There is a place in you that you have to keep pristine clean so that nobody has the right to curse you or treat you terribly. 

So ladies don’t let anybody make you feel unpretty. 


P.S. Just 6 more days till the International Women’s Day summit and we are almost sold out, so get your tickets ASAP!

Poker face

“Can’t read my
Can’t read my
No he can’t read my poker face
(She is gonna let nobody)
P p p poker face, p p p poker face
(Muh muh muh muh)”

Yep it’s time to talk about Lady Gaga. . . . Did you see her film A STAR IS BORN yet?

So what can we say about Lady Gaga and her personal branding?

Well first of all she does not really use a Poker Face. And she is not putting on any mask. She is one of the most authentic artists of the last 10 years.

She exudes empowerment, intelligence and I love that she uses her voice and visibility to help and support women. Here are my 4 lessons learned.

1. Create the right partnerships.
What she did with Bradley Cooper for the film was a unique partnership. Every interview I have seen or read, she talks about having an equal partnership. This shows throughout the movie but also it makes her an avid promoter of how it should be in Hollywood and how women should not just be taken seriously but should also take themselves seriously. But then again she has always been great with collaborations. From working with brands like Tiffany jewelry to working with women like Beyonce. 

2. Use your clothing style to convey your story or message.
Her outfits are so out there, it’s like they arrive before her to tell you that she is coming hahaha! They always create buzz and she knows that. She uses that. She tells her story the way she wants to and always uses her clothes as important storytelling tool.

3. Never ever give up. Always persist!
When she was 17, she enrolled at a prestigious school of arts in NYC. She dropped out because she felt she didn’t fit in. Then when she was 19 she signed with Def Jam Records but they quickly dropped her. This is a big label, can you imagine her disappointment?! She was heartbroken, but persisted and was soon signed at Interscope Records. Never give up on your dreams. The only difference is between successful people and people that are not is that the first group never gives up.

Did you know how she got her name GagaSomeone meant to text her Radio Gaga, the name of the Queen song, but his phone auto-corrected it to read Lady Gaga. She loved it and that was that!

4.Lady Gaga uses the Internet to build her community. 
She calls her followers little monsters. This is something that they love. It makes them part of a group. We all need that right? We all need a tribe to belong to.

My tribe is coming together on the 6th of March for the International Women’s Day summit. Just look at who is part of this tribe and will be speaking there:

  • Anika de Groot – Director Fundraising & Communications Dance4Life
  • Annelies Valk – Senior Global Brand Strategy Manager Vodafone
  • Dr. Yvonne Thompson CBE – Entrepreneur and author
  • Elske Doets – MD and Owner Jan Doets America Tours
  • Enny van de Velden – Chair of the board of Directors and CCO CCV Group B.V.
  • Eva Hukshorn – Strategy Advisor Re-Born
  • Hajir Hajji – Commercial Director Action
  • Heena Jethwa – Digital Workplace Services Leader IBM
  • Hendrikje Crebolder – Director Development & Media Rijksmuseum
  • Jackie Reardon – Author, entrepreneur, speaker and life coach
  • Jane Turner – Head of the Rijksprentenkabinet Rijksmuseum
  • Khadija Arib – President House of Representatives
  • Laura Visco – Executive Creative Director 72andSunny

And we will have music by Ntjam Rosie and Marle Thomson! Cool tribe don’t you think?!

Where: from 12:30 – 18.30 hrs in De Hallen Studio’s, Amsterdam

And…. If you buy a ticket to the summit you will also receive an invitation to this free special screening of the film Captain Marvel! The Disney program will be from 19.00-21.45 hours.

So join our tribe for this incredible day!


I am so excited!

“I’m so excited, and I just can’t hide it
I’m about to lose control and I think I like it
I’m so excited, and I just can’t hide it
And I know, I know, I know, I know, I know I want you.”

I want you to join us for the International Women’s Day Summit!

It is going to be an inspiring day, full of new connections, ideas and insights. Join us if you need some empowerment by role-models who will share their own personal stories.

The program March 6th

12.30 Walk in
13.00 Introduction Miluska van t Lam and Nancy Poleon
13.10 Jackie Reardon mini-masterclass Why developing mental strength leads to better results and increases your visibility at work. 
13.55 Interview Dr Yvonne Thompson CBE
14.10 Interview Enny van de Velden
14.30 Interview Eva Hukshorn and Elske Doets
14.50 Break
15.35 Panel discussion Heena Jethwa, Annelies Valk and Laura Visco 
16.20 Talk Anika de Groot 
16.30 Interview Haijr Hajji 
16.45 Talk Hendrikje Crebolder and Jane Turner
17.05 Interview Khadija Arib
17.25 Music by Ntjam Rosie and Marle Thompson 
17.30-18.30 Drinks Where: De Hallen Studio’s, Amsterdam

And there is something special we’ve organized for you!

We have partnered with Disney who will be hosting a special screening of their new film Captain Marvel. Yes, a film about female empowerment and with a female superhero! The film stars Brie Larson and Samuel L. Jackson.The film screening will take place immediately after our International Women’s Day Summit right next door at De Filmhallen in Amsterdam. If you buy a ticket to the summit you will also receive an invitation to this free special screening of the film! The Disney program will be from 19.00-21.45 hours.

So sign up for here this incredible day full of female role-models and new sisters for you to meet!