MAASTRICHT. Long articles in newspapers such as Het Financieele Dagblad, de Limburger, Eindhovens Dagblad, an appearance on the TV show Jinek and numerous reports in other media. Only those who were completely shut off from the world could have missed it this week: rector Rianne Letschert won the Successful Career Woman of the Year 2019 award on Thursday evening, 26 September. A jury led by former minister Jet Bussemaker praised her "combination of authentic leadership and academic depth".
Rianne Letschert was asked to nominate herself for the award three times; the last time, she decided to do it, she told de Limburger. “In order to use that position to be able to make a contribution towards the discussion about women who combine busy jobs with family life.” Her competitors included Agnes Knoops from PWC and Daphne de Kluis from ABN AMRO.
In a video, created by the organisation, the rector describes her leadership style as “direct”, as someone who tends to quickly cut the discussion short if she has the impression that it is about futilities, “if people are moaning about nothing”. She describes herself as someone with a positive attitude: “For me, the glass is always half-full.” She wants to be a role model, but the image of a superwoman doesn't appeal to her at all. “I also have a vulnerable side, and I make mistakes too.”
As Successful Career Woman of the Year 2019 she intends to “put even more effort into diversity”. She wants to give women the opportunity to grow more in their jobs and hopes to brush aside any barriers. The rector announced that specifically for the UM, this means that a female quota will be introduced in 2020 for faculties where less than 30 per cent of the professors is female.
The title Successful Career Woman of the Year is awarded every year by the 'Topvrouw van het Jaar' foundation. Last year, the title went to Eugenie van Wiechen, director of FD Mediagroep.
Read the interview with Rianne Letschert next week in Observant