Naming and Praising - the utilisation of female talent

2008 – ‘Naming and Praising’ –  This is the title of a congress paper (60 pages) for the Ambassador Network on the utilization of female talent.

In 2001, the first team of ambassadors started and was led by the former ING board member: Ewald Kist. The idea behind this initiative was simple: mobilize a number of decision makers from industry and other organizations to provide an extra boost for  the careers of women. It is not the concern of government to promote the company’s strategic importance of diversity; so it was thought. Precisely top managers should play an important role here. These ambassadors are no “ideological mascots’ but pragmatic leaders who not only advertise their vision on diversity  but also transfer it into concrete actions.

Since its launch in 2001, almost eighty figureheads participated in the five editions of the Ambassador Network. All these organizations together represent more than half million Dutch employees. Directly or indirectly all these people came into contact with the subject of diversity M / F in the recent years. With their actions ambassadors aim to show the business interest of a more balanced representation of women in senior positions. With their approach they want to inspire and encourage other organizations to follow. For this fifth edition of the Ambassador Network, the participants committed themselves to three general objectives , namely:

1. Realizing a significant increase of women in senior positions of the organizations.
2. Communicating the business case, the economic value that diversity has to offer.
3. Continuing this dedication by anchoring diversity in corporate governance, for example by contributing to a diversity charter.

Apart from these general objectives, several ambassadors used the opportunity of  their participation in the network to work on some other central themes. Such as flexible working patterns – place and time independent work and a greater variety of career paths – and the raising of female top talent. The lead of this fifth edition of the Ambassador Network is at the Ministry of Economic Affairs, assisted by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science. The network is supported by an advisory committee, in which the two ministries and the employers association VNO NCW participate. The Secretariat and the project coordination of the Ambassador network is owned by Opportunity Advice, a consultancy bureau related to the Opportunity in Business.
See the appendices for publication Naming and Praising – Harnessing female talent (2008 ) Opportunity Advise and the Ministry of Economic Affairs .