Let’s meet the WBN members

The MaastrichtMBA Women Business Network (WBN) is an initiative of MaastrichtMBA students and established based on the need of community engagement among the female students of the MBA programme via networking support for personal and professional growth. The network facilitates networking opportunities among the community and with like-minded MBA organisations and worldwide business representatives and leaders in a wide range of sectors and industries to transfer and spread knowledge and experience.

 

We want to take the opportunity to introduce a couple of WBN members. The WBN organisation interviewed Mirnalini Pereira, Fabienne Kramer and Julie Link Steffens. Let’s meet them!

 

Can you give us a small introduction of yourself: who are you, where do you work, something about yourself?

My name is Mirnalini Pereira. I started my career as a Product Test and Yield Engineer with Texas Instruments in my home country of Malaysia. That was the beginning of my career in the semiconductor industry. Since then, I moved to the United States to work for memory chip makers Infineon Technologies and later Micron Technologies. After 18 years in various semiconductor test roles, I decided to follow my husband to the Netherlands on a new adventure. I now work for ASML – a leading semiconductor equipment manufacturer – as a Team Lead in the Configuration and Change Management Department. I am a mother of two – a girl of 15 and a boy of 12. When I am not working, I like cooking Malaysian food simply because my family and I like eating Malaysian food. When I am not at work, or not cooking, I am furiously finishing assignments for my MBA, catching up on my reading list and ticking items off my bucket list.

How is your organisation working with (female) leadership? Do you have space and opportunity to explore that?

My organisation, ASML is keen on increasing female leadership in all levels of its management. However, in my experience of working in semiconductor corporations all around the world, it seems that women only seem to be able to climb the corporate ladder up to a certain point regardless the country the organisation is in. This feat is even harder to accomplish for minority women in that country. Women also seem to be in positions traditionally occupied by females e.g. HR, Communications etc. The C-suite in many corporations are still primarily white and male.
ASML’s governing board, I am happy to say, enjoys a slightly larger percentage of women versus men but minorities are still underrepresented. As long as there are built in biases within job descriptions, within the hiring process, and within the perceptions of hiring managers, obtaining the same opportunities and considerations that men enjoy will continue to be challenging for women all over the world.

What is the ideal future for leadership according to you? Do you have a specific view on female leadership? If so, what is the view?

I don’t have a specific view on female leadership. All leaders, male or female, should be visionaries. They should be leaders for every situation, even in a crisis. They should lead by example i.e. walk the walk. They should not be afraid to invest time in building and cultivating relationships and growth in their people. And above all, they should be humble. I have no respect for leaders who think themselves above everyone else.

Describe any initiatives that you were previously, currently, or would like to be involved in to promote gender equity or female leadership in the workplace.

I am not currently involved in any leadership initiatives but if I were to be involved, I would be partial to gender equality and leadership initiatives targeting young children in school. The younger generation continues to be our beacon of hope for a better tomorrow and when better than during their formative years.

Are there any resources (books, documentaries etc.) that you can recommend that can inspire or educate others on the topic of women in leadership?

  • All of Jane Austen’s books, L.M Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables series of books – strong women characters that are also quite relatable.
  • Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In.
  • Any / all of Simon Sinek’s TED Talks and articles.

 

Can you give us a small introduction of yourself: who are you, where do you work, something about yourself?

My name is Fabienne and I work as the head of Logistics Service Centre for the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague. I grew up in Luxembourg and have been living in the Netherlands for the past 12 years.

How is your organisation working with (female) leadership? Do you have space and opportunity to explore that?

I work in the cultural / educational sector. Although, there are more male leaders in my workplace, I have experienced an open atmosphere in which collaboration is encouraged.

What is the ideal future for leadership according to you? Do you have a specific view on female leadership? If so, what is the view?

Future leadership is not related to gender in my eyes. Leaders in general do need to be trained on how to work well with their employees, and developing the soft skills needed to work together with and for a team. The leader as a coach is a concept that I like a lot.

Describe any initiatives that you were previously, currently, or would like to be involved in to promote gender equity or female leadership in the workplace.

I would like to involve myself more in questions regarding inclusion and diversity in a more general way as to only focussing on gender issues.
In my daily work I am not involved in initiatives to promote gender equity, as I feel like there are no gender issues in this way at my workplace – we all work with the same contracts, and chances are equal for men and women.

Are there any resources (books, documentaries etc.) that you can recommend that can inspire or educate others on the topic of women in leadership?

Leadership embodiment by Wendy Palmer is a book I would definitely recommend

 

Can you give us a small introduction of yourself: who are you, where do you work, something about yourself?

My name is Julie Link Steffens. I grew up in Ft. Worth, Texas. Lived in Los Angeles, CA for 15 years and worked in the media business. I met the love of my life, had two boys and moved to Cologne, Germany. My husband and I recently launched a TV/ film production and management company, called Glisk.

How is your organisation working with (female) leadership? Do you have space and opportunity to explore that?

Our organisation is in the early stages of growth. We’re passionate about creating a safe and open environment where women can lead, learn and flourish.

What is the ideal future for leadership according to you? Do you have a specific view on female leadership? If so, what is the view?

Women are powerful. We need more in leading positions. But we cannot model past leadership structures and behaviors. We must use our innate skills to help shape the future of work. And be confident enough to speak up for what we want to create equality.

Describe any initiatives that you were previously, currently, or would like to be involved in to promote gender equity or female leadership in the workplace.

I love mentoring and learning from other women. I’m a member of Step Up and Women in Film in the US. In my previous companies, we created women’s groups to support one another. Building strong networks is very important. But we can always do better.

Are there any resources (books, documentaries etc.) that you can recommend that can inspire or educate others on the topic of women in leadership?

I recently read The Confidence Code by Katty Kay and Claire Shipman. I highly recommend this book. It contains important research about confidence and why it matters for women.

 

 

The MaastrichtMBA Women Business Network (WBN) is an initiative of MaastrichtMBA students and established based on the need of community engagement among the female students of the MBA programme via networking support for personal and professional growth. MaastrichtMBA is an executive modular part-time MaastrichtMBA programme, has a Triple Crown accreditation and is aimed for professionals with at least 5 years of working experience.

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