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Special Event: Female Leadership: The Sequence – Session 2: Leadership at Work! – Venture Café Rotterdam

April 22, 12:00 - 13:30

This special sequence organized by Venture Café Rotterdam consists of 4 inspirational get-togethers dedicated to inspire, connect and empower women! We’ll be highlighting women’s unique successes and facilitate a dialogue that transcends cultures, industries and experiences.

This is not your ordinary female leadership session. This is a space to learn and grow together. A moment to share experiences and help each other in taking the next step.

The sessions are hosted by Jannelieke Aalstein and Anoesjka Imambaks. They will be inviting guests for sessions to offer various perspectives to the selected subjects.

Why are we organizing these virtual get-togethers for (working) women? This initiative can be seen as a back-up system: a means to connect and grow in a safe space, together. We all have similar experiences and thoughts throughout our lives, this sequence will let you experience first-hand that you are not alone and will give you access to a strong network of supporters! 

Is this sequence for you?

These sessions are for (working) women with ambitions. Anyone interested in the selected subjects and who is willing to be open to listen to others and share experiences is welcome to join. Please note that the sessions are interactive and take place in a safe virtual space, a space for vulnerability and openness. Please join this session if this environment suits you and if you can respect and contribute to it.

Please read on for what we will do on March 4th and the full sequence description!

About Session 2 “Leadership at Work”, April 22nd, 12:00pm

At this second session, Anoesjka Imambaks and Jannelieke Aalstein will dive into the subject “Leadership at Work” with you. We will touch upon diversity and inclusion in organizations and the balance that’s needed. It’s also about getting more women at the top and how women can be role models for one another. This time we have two guest speakers sharing their vision on the subject:

  • Leonie van Mierlo (44) is consultant, coach, sculptor and writer. What all these activities have in common is her belief that the real potential has long been available and that it’s the art to release it and let it blossom. She is also the writer of the book “Gelijkspel wint“, which will be highlighted in today’s session.
  • Arjen Slim leads Inclusion and Diversity at the Accenture the Netherlands. In this role he commits to building and safeguarding a culture of equality and meritocracy. Whereby everyone, regardless of cultural background, sexual orientation, religion, gender or any other quality gets an equal opportunity to be successful and be their true self.


About the sequence

These sessions will take place virtually. If Dutch government permits, we might switch to a hybrid or “live” format as we proceed.

This sequence consists of 4 sessions, with roughly 6 weeks in between each of them. Enough time to dwell on what has been shared as well as to think about the upcoming edition. Each session touches upon a different subject. Have a look at the schedule below!

Session 1: The Core: Authenticity “Choose to Challenge Yourself” (March 11th, 12:00-13:30h CET)

  • Who are you and what do you stand for? And how does that relate to your view of the world?
  • Key words: authenticity, your core values and staying true to them, personal leadership
  • Read more about the session here.

Session 2: Leadership at work (April 22nd, 12:00-13:30h)

  • Where do you fit? What position suits you?
  • Key words: staying yourself, authentic leadership, feminist principles

Session 3: Leadership in life (June 3rd, 12:00-13:30h CET)

  • How to balance work with other things I find important in life? How to stay a woman (“vrouw blijven”)?
  • Guest: Roos van Dalen (24) is an outspoken advocate for equality and up until now she has focused especially on gender diversity at the top of Dutch organizations. She wrote her thesis about the sense making of gender inequality of women at the top of business. For this thesis, she chose to conduct in-depth interviews with top-women as her participants. She’ll share the outcomes and learnings today!

Session 4: TBA (July 15th, 12:00-13:30h CET)

  • You get to decide what we focus on this week!

Hosts of the sessions: Jannelieke Aalstein & Anoesjka Imambaks

Jannelieke Aalstein (41) is a passionate, authentic, outspoken female leader, with over 15 years of leading/ transformation expertise. She has been chief of staff to the mayor of Rotterdam, director at Rotterdam Partners (city marketing/ economy booster) and director at ActionAid (fighting for women’s rights and equality worldwide), amongst others. Always advocating for women’s equal seat at the table, building bridges and coaching young women to feel empowered and grow while staying true to who they are. She is on the board of several cultural institutions and a bank and is known for her energy, honesty and authentic leadership skills. Two of her guidelines in life? “I have never done it, so I think I’ll manage” and “mixing authenticity, vulnerability and strength, is my super power”. In this course, Jannelieke looks forward to share her experience and knowledge, to discuss challenges, answer questions and more!

Anoesjka Imambaks (37) is currently the Executive Director of Venture Café Rotterdam. Prior to Venture Café, Anoesjka worked as a policy advisor at the Ministry of Economic Affairs, on entrepreneurship, finance & innovation. She was at the forefront of creating a better innovation ecosystem in The Netherlands focused on education, startups, corporates & investors to create and to establish a more entrepreneurial (international) mindset and facilities to start and grow companies. In 2011 she founded her company Maid at Home as a luxury brand of professional housekeepers (maids). Her vision and perseverance were acknowledged when she was awarded the Ethnic Business Women Netherlands Award in 2016. Also she is an instructor ‘ Housekeeping’ at The International Butler Academy. Anoesjka has a Masters in Public Management from the Erasmus University Rotterdam and she holds various board positions in the city.

A ticket fee: creating a safe space + a donation!

We aim to create a safe virtual space where there is an opportunity to grow as a community. To safeguard a safe environment, we are charging a small ticket fee. All ticket income will be donated to Venture Café Rotterdam, a non-profit with the mission to connect innovators to make things happen!

Tickets are free of charge for young talents and students, because we want to facilitate you in getting inspired by and connected to this network of female leaders at a early stage of your lives!

About Venture Café Rotterdam

Venture Café is a non-profit organization and part of the Venture Cafe Global Institute and the Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC). Venture Café is the place in Rotterdam where startups, corporates, talent, government and investors are connected to stimulate innovation and growth. Every Thursday between 16:00-19:00h at our central location at Groot Handelsgebouw we host the largest innovation community gathering in The Netherlands. Pre-corona we used to receive 300+ visitors every week, for now all of our programming is offered online. Every Thursday Venture Café offers freely accessible programs and an environment for “serendipitous encounters” to happen.

Venture Café Rotterdam is part of a global network with locations in the U.S.A., Asia, Oceania and Europe.


April 22
12:00 - 13:30