The Erasmus Centre for Women and Organisations (ECWO) is committed to fostering inclusion. Our founding purpose in 2014 was to empower women and to create a level playing field by building communities for organisational change. Today, ECWO has expanded its perspective to embrace a wider vision of inclusive prosperity in the world. Our new mission is to create a sense of belonging for everyone within organisations through diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), anchored in social safety. We strive for settings where everyone feels valued, respected and supported. We conduct research and produce evidence-led educational programmes, events, coaching, advocacy, and advisory services. We stay true to our roots, and we have evolved to recognise that achieving true inclusion and equity requires encompassing all, regardless of gender or identity.

Empowering. Engaging. Driving positive systemic change.

Our values

  • Sense of purpose

  • Evidence-led initiative

  • Connecting people & ideas

  • Transparency

  • Innovation & risk-taking

  • Human agency over systems

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Dory Grandia teaching


Read the latest news and stories about Erasmus Centre for Women and Leadership.

ECWO members

Stand Up, Reach Out

Helping organisations create social safety in the workplace

More information

About ECWO

What ECWO can do for you, your organisation and society

The global imbalance of women leaders – and the implicit loss of talent – is holding society back. At Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University we are committed to redressing the gender balance through the impactful and wide-ranging work of the Erasmus Centre for Women and Organisations (ECWO).

We are a leading institution in empowering and connecting communities of women to drive their careers and play a meaningful role in reaching gender equality globally.

Our work is built around enabling individual, organisational and societal change. We do this through a suite of open programmes, including our signature Women in Leadership Open Programme, and working collaboratively with different organisations to deliver customised programmes that fully leverage the competitive advantage that gender balance brings. Our programmes are grounded in continuously updated applied research that illuminates how and why gender imbalance exists. We also have a dedicated research team that also undertakes our own and collaborative research into how to achieve gender equality.

Get to know ECWO

ECWO's founder's story


Dianne Bevelander, PhD


Portrait of Dianne Bevelander

Hanneke Takkenberg, PhD

Executive Director

Portrait of Hanneke Takkenberg

Dorothy Grandia, MA

Associate Director of Programming

Portrait of Dorothy Grandia

Michael Page, PhD

Senior Researcher

Portrait of Michael Page

Diane Coetzer, MA

Senior Project Manager

Read more

Portrait of Diane Coetzer

Rianne van Reeuwijk

Client and Operations Manager

Portrait of Rianne van Reeuwijk

Hetty Brand-Boswijk, CPCC, PCC

Head of Coaching

Portrait of Hetty Brand-Boswijk

Joana Vassiliopoulou, PhD

Project lead, EQUAL4EUROPE

Portrait of Joana Vassiliopoulou

Gaby Dijkstra, MA

Researcher and Project Co-ordinator EQUAL4EUROPE

Portrait of Gaby Dijkstra

Natalie Cleton, PhD

Women in Leadership programme facilitator

Portrait of Natalie Cleton

Wiley Davi, PhD

Women in Leadership programme facilitator

Portrait of Wiley Davi

Stephanie Mitrano, PhD

Emotions in Business Programme facilitator

Portrait of Stephanie Mitrano

Karen Stephenson, PhD

The DNA of Networks programme facilitator

Portrait of Karen Stephenson


Our programmes for women aim to optimise your leadership capabilities. They empower you with the tools, the shared insights, the broader perspective and the enhanced management skills to advance your career. And fulfil your potential as an agent of change.

Take a decisive step forward. Women in Leadership challenges you to explore your own leadership, build knowledge and acquire the negotiating, influencing and networking tools to take real ownership of your career. Debate, exchange and engage with women in leadership positions and experts from a broad diversity of backgrounds. Learn how to translate challenges into opportunities. And prepare to take your career to the next level.

Gain the understanding, tools and the confidence to empower your leadership. Craft effective messages, develop presentations that persuade, align your verbal and non-verbal language to your objectives. Through exploration of theory, open discussion and role-play, you will enhance your potential to influence and impact others through communication. More information can be found here.

Evidence suggests that there are clear differences in the outcomes of male and female negotiators depending on a variety of factors, ranging from time spent in the negotiation to how they frame the value of the outcome. Regardless, studies show that women perform better when they are trained and when they adapt their approach to the context of the negotiation.

In this interactive, one-day workshop, you will understand the role gender bias plays in negotiations, identify your default approach, and practice techniques you can use in your daily professional and personal life. More information can be found here.

Our expert faculty and facilitators work in partnership with you to identify and diagnose your business needs and design a tailored solution that maps to your objectives.

Whether your goal is to enhance recruitment, retention, career progression or gender balance in leadership, we offer the flexibility in execution, evaluation and follow-up to deliver immediate and lasting impact for your people and your organization.

Contact our team today to discuss the best solution for your company and find out how ECWO can be a trusted partner in transformation.

Alessia Senes

Research Scientist at TNO, The Netherlands

I really enjoyed the Women in Leadership course, the speakers were very inspiring and enthusiastic. We received many practical suggestions, which I am implementing in my daily work. The course also made me aware of the importance in educating the younger generations on gender equality.

Portrait of Alessia Senes

Wendy Hompes

Principal product manager commercial cards at ING Wholesale Banking Netherlands

The Woman in Leadership course was very inspiring and got me on the edge of my seat the whole time. It was great to share experiences with other women, for example to practise our negotiation skills and speaking with impact. I got some great learnings from it that I will use in my daily work.

Portrait of Wendy Hompes

Se-Yun Bohnhardt

Tax manager at ING-DiBa AG Germany

RSM has shown me women’s position in the ING world and my own biases. The Women in Business programme taught to focus on women’s strengths without bending your principles, and to focus on women’s network by encouraging ourselves.

Portrait of Se-uYn Bohnhardt

Katharina Stumpf

Referent controller (financial controlling) at ING-DiBa Germany

I really appreciated to be part of the course because of the inspiring and shining lecturers. Becoming aware of unconscious biases is critical and as a take away, I will support other women in business as a first step to gender equality.

Portrait of Katharina Stumpf

Lina Sun

Risk research analyst at ING Netherlands

The course was a very inspiring and empowering experience. It has increased my awareness on the importance of diversity, stimulated women to speak out ambitions on professional development and – most importantly – we learned to support each other in business.

Portrait of Lina Sun

Stephanie Stiernon, Women in Leadership participant

Client Services Account Manager ING Bank, Switzerland

I went home with new energy and very interesting tips and tricks to continue having a balanced career. The speakers were extremely good and contributed to keep us passionate about Gender Diversity

Portrait of Stephanie Stiernon

Diana Verkade, Women in Leadership participant

Business Manager International Trade & Export Finance ING Bank, The Netherlands

After three intense but inspiring days, I realized that leadership is a choice and that it is all up to us whether we are prepared to do what it takes to make it happen.

Portrait of Diana Verkade

Carolien van der Vliet-Hameeteman

IR at TNO, The Netherlands

The Women in Leadership course made me more aware of gender diversity aspects. Now I see diversity as an opportunity to enhance cooperation in project teams, using the strength of both feminine and masculine qualities.

Portrait of Carolien van der Vliet-Hameeteman


We explore women’s experience in the workplace, the issues that hold women back in business and what organisations, leaders and individuals can do to redress the gender imbalance, challenge prevailing mind-sets and drive real change. Our work is published in the world’s leading journals, books and practical resources for businesses and business leaders.

We are one of six organisations that are part of the EQUAL4EUROPE consortium. Largely conceptualised by our late founder, Prof. Dianne Bevelander, EQUAL4EUROPE is an H2020-funded four-year project. Starting in January 2020 and running to December 2023, the project is tasked with developing and implementing gender equality plans that accelerate the process of removing barriers to the recruitment, retention, and career progression of female researchers, address gender imbalances in decision-making processes and integrate the gender dimension in research and educational/innovation content.


You can read more on the EQUAL4EUROPE website.

Professor Dianne Bevelander's inaugural speech: The 8th summit women's ascent of organisations

Speaking as Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë stated as long ago as 1846 that “women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties, and a field for their efforts, as much as their brothers do; they suffer from too rigid a restraint, to absolute a stagnation, precisely as men would suffer …” and that “… it is thoughtless to condemn them, or laugh at them, if they seek to do more or learn more than custom has pronounced necessary for their sex.” Less than a year later in 1847, these views resulted in an attack on the character of Jane as the “personification of an unregenerate and undisciplined spirit” by Elizabeth Rigby in the leading literary and political periodical of the time – The Quarterly Review.

I mention this as a preface to my inaugural address because the opinions raised by Jane Eyre are as relevant today as they were almost 170 years ago, and because the criticism of her character came from none other than another woman. Gender bias is as much a female issue as it is a male issue. Changing the gender paradigm will require extreme effort, commitment, and on-going attention from both men and women.

Read the news item about the inaugeral address.

Dianne Bevelander
February 2016

Other publications

Beyond the Bottom Line: Integrating the UN Global Compact into Business Practice
Chapter: Our Need, Your Interest: Responsible Decision Making in Private Equity
Dianne Bevelander
Accepted to be published Dec 2016 ·

Humor or Harassment?
Dianne Bevelander, Jacqueline Nolan, Michael Page
Jun 2015 · Harvard Business Review

On a mission: Achieving distinction as a business school?
Dianne Bevelander, Michael Page, Leyland Pitt, Michael Parent
Jun 2015 · South African Journal of Business Management 

Integrating gender equality into business and management education : lessons learned and challenges remaining
chapter 22: The Eighth Summit: Women's ascent of organizations
Edited by Patricia M. Flynn, Kathryn Haynes and Maureen A. Kilgour
May 2015 · Sheffield, UK : Greenleaf Publishing Limited

Who is engaging with whom? Internationalizing opportunities for business schools in emerging economies
Dianne Bevelander
Sep 2012 · International Journal of Educational Management

Ms. Trust: Gender, Networks and Trust--Implications for Management and Education
Dianne Bevelander, Michael Page
Dec 2011 · The Academy of Management Learning and Education 

Business schools and lifelong learning: Inquiry, delivery or developing the inquiring mind
Michael Page, Dianne Bevelander, David bond, Ella Boniuk
Dec 2006 · South African Journal of Business Management 

Positioning the Executive MBA Product: Let's not forget the requirements of the corporate market
Michael Page, Dianne Bevelander, Leyland Pitt
Aug 2004 · Journal of General Management 

Gender: Ms—ed opportunities for business schools?
Gender: Ms—ed opportunities for business schools? in Chinese 
Dianne Bevelander and Michael Page
Oct 2016 · EMFD Business Magazine

De Economische Kracht van de Ondernemende Vrouw
Monique Brummans, Nicolette Loonen, Ingrid Verheul, Dianne Bevelander, Kim Boersma
February 2015 · Stichting Maatschappij en Onderneming

Stand Up, Reach Out

Social Safety in the workplace: The foundation of belonging

ECWO’s mission is to create a sense of belonging for everyone within organisations - and social safety is the foundation of this.

Full inclusion in the workplace requires that all members of the organisation – regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity or ability – experience a work environment that is safe, supportive and encouraging. Only then can an organisation enable maximum fulfillment of its members and ensure optimal impact.

Organisations can ensure a socially safe working climate by addressing it on three levels: the individual, and the organisation and its leadership. Backed by the latest academic research and delivered by expert facilitators, our Stand Up, Reach Out (SURO) programme aims to build a robust and inclusive culture of care within an organisation across all three of these levels.

Within this aim, and in close consultation with organisations that have engaged us, we deliver a SURO  programme that:

  • Empowers participants with the knowledge of how to define and recognise a socially safe working climate, how to recognise behaviour that does (or does not) support this - all with a focus on daily interactions
  • Provides participants with insight into the Bystander Effect and introduces the 5Ds
  • Productively addresses harmful behaviours and creates positive conversations and dynamic dialogues to build a socially safe environment.
  • Underscores the value of, and approach to, building a community of mutual respect and support, in which open discussions about harmful behaviours can take place.

The programme itself takes place in a safe, inclusive and confidential environment that enables a high degree of interactivity on the part of participants.

Over the past few years, we have worked with many different organisations – from companies to academic institutions and more – to help create socially safe workplaces as part of building inclusive organisations that thrive in a culture of care. As part of our belief that addressing organisational challenges involves everyone, our programmes are multi-pronged and tailored for all levels of an organisation, including the leadership team.

Good people doing nothing supports people who are engaging in unwanted behaviour. SURO helps by giving good people the tools to create a safe working climate.

Gaby Dijkstra, SURO facilitator

I would like to especially thank Professor Hanneke Takkenberg and Gaby Dijkstra for the workshop. As a member of VOICES - Making Young Researchers' Voices Heard for Gender Equality - I'm glad to see their effort to create a safe working culture at the EUR/ESE. If you have any interest in having a safe and inclusive working environment, regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, or other individual characteristics you should definitely look at the programme being run by Erasmus Centre for Women and Organisations (ECWO).

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Cansu Tor Kadıoglu

Read the article of Dr Natalie Cleton.

Read the report into harassment in academia into harassment in academia by the Dutch Network of Women Professors (LNVH).

To find out more about our Stand Up, Reach Out programme, please contact Rianne van Reeuwijk on Please note that our programme is available in both English and Dutch.

We're here to talk

Contact us about our Stand Up, Reach Out programme.


Identify your goals, objectives and values. Develop the personal strategies to drive your career and enhance your life.

Our coaches empower you to explore your passion, your skills and the factors that motivate you, helping you unlock your full potential and tread a path of personal and professional discovery.

Our coaches

ECWO coaches empower you to get the best from yourself. And from others.

Our experts work one-to-one with you or your organization to pinpoint areas for growth. They challenge you to re-think your perspective, re-frame your goals and objectives and unlock your fullest potential to achieve them. They develop and guide you as you acquire deep insights and new skills. And they accompany you on every step of your journey of personal and professional transformation.

If you are ready overcome the barriers to success, to be empowered and to empower others, and to transition towards fulfillment in your life and career, get in touch with us today.

Coaching at ECWO

Community updates

Welcome to our ECWO community!

Our founder, Prof. Dianne Bevelander, believed in the power of the sisterhood.

“Creating a posse is vital for every part of your professional journey. Find people who believe in you. Throughout my life, I have had great mentors and sponsors who believed in me, probably more than I believed in myself. They gave me the courage to do what I wanted to do. Building your posse amplifies your courage and makes the previously unthinkable just a step forward! Remember that you also build your posse by asking, by having the courage to ask for help.”

 In this space, we will share our initiatives in support of all women.

  • If you’re in need of a refresher about how to get the best out of online meetings, watch our suite of videos.
  • ECWO facilitator, Stéphanie Mitrano-Méda, has created an #emotionsatwork video series for our community.

You can follow us on LinkedIn and also apply to join our closed LinkedIn community which is a place for sharing your own stories, successes, insights and more into the journey to gender equality. And don’t forget to like our Instagram and join our Facebook community for inspirational moments and much more. We are also active in the global movement for gender equality on Twitter.

Video message from Dianne Bevelander

Do keep in touch. You can email us on for more information and with any additional questions or suggestions that you might have.Together we can climb mountains.

Virtual sisterhood updates

Our Assistant Director, Dorothy Grandia, gives tips on how to prepare and use your online meeting audio, for the most substantive, effective communication.

Here is the link to the paper by Steffen R. Giessner, Professor of Organisational Behaviour and Change at RSM, referred to in the video.

Watch the video below for tips from Dory Grandia

Watch the video below for tips from Hanneke Takkenberg

Watch the video below for tips from Dory Grandia

Watch the video below for tips from Hetty Brand-Boswijk

ECWO facilitator, Stéphanie Mitrano-Méda, has created an #emotionsatwork video series as a special contribution to our initiative to support women during this time.

The series on YouTube details:

  • the mechanics of emotions; 
  • the purpose of emotions; 
  • the approach to take for your emotional development journey;
  • building emotional strategies;
  • and person of value techniques. We are sure you will find great value in Stéphanie’s series.

Still curious?

Access the programmes brochure and subscribe to the newsletter

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