From a LinkedIn Workshop to Head of Editorial Staff at NOS Sports
Top left to right: Roberta Carlucci, Charlotte (Charlie) van Holstein. Bottom left to right: Roos Burgemeijer, Anna de Silva, Lisa Thompson
The Power of Networking
In today's rapidly evolving professional landscape, networking opportunities have become essential for career growth and success. For women navigating their way through the corporate or start-up world, the significance of networking cannot be overstated. Building connections and forging relationships that empower, inspire, and propel careers forward.
At Equals, we work hard to facilitate an environment encourages women to communicate their needs. As a dynamic platform and community dedicated to promoting gender equality and diversity in the workplace, we recognise the pivotal role networking plays in the professional journeys of women. In this article, we delve into the profound impact that networking and sharing resources can have on the trajectory of one's career. By telling the story of how our members connected over one particular networking brunch and the change this brought about, we hope to shed light on how these events can catalyse success.
Networking Brunch: A Unique Approach
One of the cornerstone events within our membership program is the monthly Networking Brunch. This gathering is a fundamental platform for fostering meaningful connections among our community. Unlike traditional networking events where individuals may be standing awkwardly, struggling to break the ice with the customary "What do you do for a living?" question, our Networking Brunch offers a more engaging and inclusive experience, a concept Charlie created and she knew would make the Equals networking opportunity unique.
Attendees enjoy a healthy buffet and settle into our lounge area for a unique opportunity: the 90-second pitch. During this brief window, participants are encouraged to introduce themselves, share their professional backgrounds, and conclude with a specific "ask." For example, “I am asking for someone to help me with marketing my new product”, or “ I am asking for a co-founder to join my company.”. With these pitches, we've found that our attendees make meaningful connections and unlock a seamless flow of networking opportunities by the end of the event. It's a structured yet organic approach to networking that genuinely sets this event apart from normative networking sessions.
Lisa Thompson became a valued member of Equals in January 2023, driven by her quest to connect with like-minded women eager to grow personally and professionally. With over two decades of experience in large organisations and recent years spent self-employed, Lisa is a seasoned expert in consumer experience design. Her company, The Space Atelier, specialises in optimising physical, virtual, and career spaces to enhance individuals' lives. This year, one of Lisa's key goals was to harness the power of LinkedIn for networking and growth.
Master Your LinkedIn Profile Workshop
At the networking lunch in May, Lisa positioned her to ask, “Who wants to work on LinkedIn with me? To build a mastermind or a coworking morning together?” The response was overwhelmingly positive; she had several women request to join the mastermind. Seeing this demand, Lisa saw the potential to expand this initiative into a workshop. Lisa’s expertise intersected perfectly with that of Roberta Carlucci and Anna de Silva. Roberta is a Master Image Consultant and Brand strategist who specialises in helping women with their brand online and in person. Meanwhile, Anna, a brilliant SEO expert, shares a deep passion for assisting fellow women to decipher the intricacies of the LinkedIn algorithm to convey their true selves on the platform effectively. With their combined backgrounds in marketing, branding, SEO, consumer experiences, arts and science, Lisa, Roberta and Anna created the Master Your LinkedIn Profile workshop, which swiftly garnered a sold-out status.
A Journey of Transformation
One person benefited immensely from this workshop: Roos Burgmeijer. After navigating through management and organisational changes within her company this year, she firmly decided: “I'm going to be the change within my life and the company. I'm going to put myself out there. I'm going to be a leader. I want to show the world that women in sports and sports journalism can also lead in the industry and departments”. She began a journey of self-development, looked internally for mentors and searched LinkedIn for organisations that support women's growth. She discovered Female Ventures and joined an event hosted at the Equals clubhouse. As she left the workshop, she felt an undeniable sense of belonging.
“I had found my tribe. I thought This is a place where I could go and ask for something. People are here to help. And that felt amazing.”
That’s when she discovered the LinkedIn workshop hosted by Lisa, Roberta and Anna. The element of the workshop that stood out to her was storytelling. She realised that, within herself, she too possessed the ability to be a storyteller. The perspective she held about her career was limiting her, and so, through the workshop, she could restructure her career narrative. Something inside her began to unravel as she was awakened to the possibility of achieving her goals. All she could hear was an internal voice that said, “Go after your dream, tell your unique story and show your bosses what you are capable of.”
A Historic Achievement
Roos Burgmeijer NOS Sports
After dedicating nearly 18 years to the same company, Roos was unwavering in her determination once the Chief Executive role became an open vacancy. She meticulously crafted her application, sharing her story, motivations, passions, and vision for the future of women in leadership positions. It took her approximately a week to weave her narrative, emphasising that a person is more than just a resume or a list of accomplishments.
"You are a unique story, a layered portfolio, rich in nuance," she emphasised.
After updating her LinkedIn profile, changing her profile picture and sharing her story on LinkedIn, “I added all the things I did, all the courses I took. I was so convinced I could do it and be it.” After just one interview, her dream was realised; Roos secured the role. She now proudly holds the position of the first woman to become Chief Executive within her division, her dream job. Roos is now in charge and will directly lead the daily output of the editorial productions on TV, radio, online and social media. Leading an editorial and production staff of 100 colleagues in NOS Sport. Roos works in a team of four, working one week to follow news cycles and stories. On her ‘on’ weeks, she will lead the editorial staff, item planning, budget planning, staff planning and news output.
“It's great that now people see a woman in charge of our department. And when young girls join us or do the internship, they see women in this central role. On the editorial staff.”
Fostering Empowerment and Growth
When we asked her what’s next, Roos asserted: “I want to have a mentor. I want to have guidance. And I want to be a mentor for younger women. We need to have that. Because I now realise how important it is to have a tribe where you can say, Hey, I need advice. How do you do that? Or can you help me with x? That's my main goal”.
Roos knows she has the power to change her world, and in her journey, she exemplifies that we all possess the potential to change the world. Throughout this interview, one word resounds with unwavering clarity: achievable. “It’s all achievable and within reach”. She declares, reminding us that the boundless possibilities of optimistic change lie within our grasp.
From a simple ask from Lisa at the networking brunch in May to her collaboration with Roberta and Anna, they helped Roos achieve something historic. All of this took place in the Equals clubhouse. We are proud to foster an environment of empowerment and growth, where women come together to make remarkable career strides and create lasting impact.