Words to Remember on International Women's Day - An-Katrien Dullers
Let’s seize this International Women’s day as an opportunity to write down a few words on female
entrepreneurship. Though leader of the M and A gang, An-Katrien Dullers, who loves big, extensive projects
with huge exposure, doesn’t speak that often about her own role, dreams and experiences as a female
entrepreneur. So that is why we thought this was a wonderful occasion to give the mike to our captain.
Happy International Women’s Day!
A day like this reminds us that we, women, can do anything we want, love and dream of. But at the same time it still gives me the feeling that we need to grab this day with both hands and scream as loud as we can ‘we are here too, remember!?’, as we are still a minority group when it comes to being entrepreneurs.
I often wonder how that is possible and why this is still the case. I have a fairly distinctive vantage point to view women in business. First of all, more than 80% of M and A is female. Secondly, almost all of our clients are women as well. And thirdly, I see so many women in my network standing up and doing their own thing. So, I have a lot of experience working with smart, passionate and successful ladies. Whom I genuinely respect most of all.
And even though we live in a male-dominated world, the women I get to work with are going strong, know how to survive, seize opportunities and dare to ask questions. In fact, I feel women in general have specific talents and skills like encouraging, supporting and nurturing each other. They are emotionally more attached which can be a disadvantage, I agree and I plead guilty, they want to do a great job every time and they aren’t afraid do get their hands dirty. It seems like sleep doesn’t have to be part of their daily routine just because they (feel the) need to excel and to be appreciated. But why do we feel that need to shine?
I feel it’s partly because we can’t let go, want to be the best - yes, simply the best - and juggle more than one job most of the time. And I’m telling the truth when I say doing business is the biggest challenge of my life. It isn’t all roses there. And how about that good old work-life balance? Being a mother and an entrepreneur is just not easy-as-pie. The notion of the ‘mompreneur’ is well-established now, but brings its own distinct challenges.
We just have to stand up and be proud. Be proud of the shitload women can manage. A professional role, family matters, childcare, shopping, cooking, managing the household, just name it. We are multitasking badasses. And this ability carries over in our jobs too. You don’t have to believe me, but that’s what I see. In this creative environment we need to jump from one client, project and job to another, without a blink.
So throw out those #girlboss, #bosslady and #momboss labels - I’m in the #momboss scene apparently - and be a boss, a mother and a lady. Why should you emphasize a female role like it is something weird or peculiar? It’s not. ‘If he can do it, then I can do it backwards and in high heels’, I once said. It is my dream that men and women could be treated with equal trust and respect. Women and men should be bosses and entrepreneurs without having to award women a different name for it. (Sorry, don't hate me for it)
Today it’s all about women, for the women surrounding me. Be proud of what you are doing. I’m throwing you an imaginary pat on the back. Feel free to throw me one back. Hear and help each other, believe in yourself and raise those (wo)men right. Be the change. As female entrepreneurs are the next wave of business success.
See through the forest, see every tree and leaf, even the nesting birds.
It’s our attention to details that makes us visionary.
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