Unapologetic leadership can pave the way to gender equality

By Arcadis

I challenge all companies to publicly commit to clear, ambitious gender goals. It’s the only way we can make real progress towards gender equality

Just last year, I joined Arcadis as Chief Financial Officer, tasked with ensuring the company’s financial stability and growth, so that Arcadians can continue focusing their creativity and expertise on improving quality of life. I’m really happy to have joined a great company, which focuses on having an outsized, positive impact on the environment and helping to create resilient communities.

But I’m also mindful that I work in an industry in which women are underrepresented. And across our global economy there are not nearly enough women in roles like mine. This needs to change, not just from a moral standpoint but also because of how it will benefit the economy and our global society. When more women work, economies grow faster and lift more people (in particular children) out of poverty. A study done by PwC indicates that if all OECD countries had a female employment rate that matched Sweden’s, this would boost global GDP by a massive six trillion dollars (USD).

Recognizing this and how having more women working at Arcadis will help us achieve even better results, we have set the ambitious goal of increasing female employment to 40% by 2023. I strongly believe that if we don’t give ourselves goals, we won’t make the progress we need to make on this front.

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