Inside Edelman is an ongoing series that spotlights our colleagues who are doing extraordinary work across our network. This year's International Women's Day theme is #ChooseToChallenge and we’ll be spotlighting our female leaders, the challenges they’ve faced personally and professionally and how they’ve overcome them.

What does “choose to challenge” mean to you? 

You can do two things.  Live your life and do your work as is, or do it differently and better and that’s where the challenge lies.  In my view, you choose every day between the road more or the road less travelled – but taking the latter means you absolutely choose to challenge!

Who is a woman you admire as a challenger, and how do you carry on her legacy

Mine at the two Ms!

  • Madonna who absolutely challenged everything and showed us females the way
  • and Margaret Thatcher for her deep confidence in herself  - she took a step back for 12 years to rear her twins and then moved on to become UK’s PM

With the status quo being challenged more and more, in the past 10 years, what have been the biggest changes you’ve noticed for women? 

The #MeToo movement has certainly changed attitudes and how people behave for the better.

What advice do you have for a woman starting her career? 

Enjoy your job, have a laugh every now and again and don’t take things too seriously

Can you tell us about a time when you challenged a colleague and/or client? How did you handle the situation? What was the outcome? 

Sometimes I challenge female clients and colleagues with small children to enjoy family life and take a small step back during those years.

How do you build your inner resilience?

Carry on!

What do you believe will be the biggest challenge for the next generation of women? 

For Dutch women (still), it’s the challenge of being a full-time working mom and overcoming the midwife challenge when you are pregnant; at your first visit to the midwife you get the question: so for how many days a week are you going to back to work once the baby has arrived ?  It sets the tone, and is I believe one of the main reasons why the female labour participation in the Netherlands is one of the lowest in Europe.

Do you think it is important for women to challenge one another? How do you challenge other women around you? 

Women are each other’s best challengers and they should never stop challenging eachother

What is one of the best pieces of advice you’ve received in your career 

Work is always fun and can carry many challenges; every now and then keep your head low, carry on and all will be well


Jacqueline is Head of Financial Communications at Edelman Amsterdam