Elsbeth Vogelzang, Blokker Belgium-Luxembourg
Frazer Jones is proud to be supporting International Women's Day 2018. We have interviewed a series of our female clients asking them how they are pressing forward for women's gender parity #pressforprogress
Frazer Jones interviewed Elsbeth Vogelzang, HR Manager at Blokker Belgium-Luxembourg
If you could tell your younger self one thing what would it be and why?
Follow your own rhythm to grow (professionally and mentally) as this gives you a better foundation instead of looking at what others do.
What action or decision are you most proud of making in your lifetime?
Bringing up my son alone in a foreign country, using my drive, feeling of wanting to succeed and humour to put in perspective (difficult) situations.
Describe one of your failures. What lessons did you learn, and how did it contribute to a greater success?
Some years ago I wanted to leave one of my previous employers because of certain reasons. I was too much in a hurry to run away from that situation, instead of focusing on “what do I want for my future”. Consequence: I ran into the same kind of situation, and became unhappy again. Lessons learned: don't neglect lessons learned and take time to first decide on where you want to go instead of being impulsive and run away.
If you don't, you will meet similar situations until you 'understood the message'
If you had to start your career from scratch, knowing what you know now, what would you do differently?
I would accept more of the compliments that I got, and be more self-confident.
Of the people that inspire you, what character traits do they have which you admire?
People who dare, without losing the link with (respect) the environment they live/work in: Dare to be different, dare to take decisions against the common opinion, dare to stand for a vision: by this they shake and wake up others.
If I were to ask people in your workplace for three adjectives that best describe you, what would they say?
Honest, direct and empathic.
How do you motivate yourself and stay motivated?
By improving situations and being useful in my work environment.
If you were to be a mentor to someone within your profession, what one piece of advice would you give?
Always reflect on yourself if you are happy, as things change as you get older. Don’t neglect this and (re)act!
What is your personal mantra?
I respect (myself, others, animals, the environment) as that is a part of love and gives mental balance.
How is gender parity being achieved in your profession and what do you think needs to be done to press for progress?
Both genders in the company’s direction and no differences are made to this in the hiring process.
What needs to be done: don’t force one to neglect the differences as they do exist, that is just the way it is! However, both genders have pros and cons in different ways, focus on the (natural) pros and use these to amplify results. Teach this from the beginning, at home and school, which should carry on to the work floor.
What would you say the top 3 skills are needed in order to be successful in your industry?
Being agile, being persistent and being close to the business.
What kind of legacy do you wish to leave behind?
That people learn and dare to express themselves and understand that this makes them grow and become happier.
At the recent Golden Globes, Oprah delivered a moving speech which led to people talking about her running for president. If you had the choice to recommend a leader, who would it be and why?
I have no name in my mind but someone who will never withdraw from his/her mission to be accessible for the people, who will stay close to them, dares to point at things to get better and engage people to change together.