Women’s organisations in the Netherlands work alone, in spite of wanting to collaborate on the shared goals of equal representation, equal renumeration, social safety and sense of belonging.

This information comes from a research project undertaken by the Erasmus Centre for Women and Organisations (ECWO) at the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) that was  shared with participants at ECWO’s annual conference today. A PDF of the results is available here.

Working with ECWO’s Executive Director, Prof. Hanneke Takkenberg, Kirsten Kardijk, assistant researcher at ECWO and EUR Sociology Masters student, first investigated the current offer of overarching women’s organisations and networks in the Netherlands.

To get a clear overview of how these women’s organisations and networks were organised, the economic nature, mission and vision of each one was further researched through a digital survey.

“What was interesting is that we found a difference, a mismatch between what we saw online and what we found in the survey,” explains Kardijk. “In other words, what the organisations claimed to do online and what they actually wanted to do was different.”

An additional survey question asked to what degree these organisations collaborate, and if they would like to collaborate more. The answers revealed that, even though the organisations work alone, what they desire is to develop their relationships with other organisations and networks.

“The results of the research confirm that women’s organisations in the Netherlands work alone, even though they want to collaborate on the shared goals of equal representation, equal renumeration, social safety and sense of belonging,” states Prof. Takkenberg.

“The theme of our conference is (Re)Connecting (Wo)men – and it echoes and broadens a core aspect of ECWO’s work and that is to connect, collaborate, support and amplify women. The research we undertook showed that women’s organisations are not yet collaborating on common challenges but they have the ambition to. We hope that, through our conference, we can help in the creation of a meta network for women’s organisations.”

“Noting that we are different, in this case, makes us forget these differences can be complementary,” adds Kardijk. “In the end, we are all working towards a similar goal - creating more gender balance, gender equity and gender equality.”

The ECWO conference also saw the presentation of the first Dianne Bevelander Prize, created to honour ECWO’s founder, Prof. Dianne Bevelander, who passed away last year. Winner Geke Rosier, founder of RightBrains, was at the event to accept the award.

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The Erasmus Centre for Women and Organisations (ECWO) at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) is committed to creating organisations where all women are fully and equitably engaged at all levels. ECWO provides education, research and advocacy that benefits individual women, organisations and society as a whole and helps create communities of women who support and empower each other in creating change. ECWO’s open programmes, in-company programmes, coaching, events, advisory alliances, research and advocacy drive its vision of a world where all women have an equal share of organisational power and influence.

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