LEAD Launches 6th Local Chapter: The Netherlands

The LEAD Network announced the launch of the LEAD Chapter in The Netherlands at the LEAD Event 2017 in Amsterdam. The Chapter Committee held its first kick-off meeting in December 2017 and since then the Committee has been working on building the strategy and plans for the Chapter and its Members. Today we have over 300 Members from more than 100 companies, including representatives of 13 Partners of the LEAD Network, present in The Netherlands. This region represents one of LEAD’s largest local Chapters.

The strategy of the LEAD Netherlands Chapter is to Drive Change in Gender Diversity and Inclusion by:

  1. Building Awareness
  2. Providing a Platform for Knowledge and Good Practice Sharing
  3. Providing Network and Networking Opportunities

How to get involved

Julia Jelińska, Chair of the LEAD Netherlands Chapter Committee sends LEAD Members a word of welcome: “We kindly invite you to follow our activities that will be announced on the LEAD website. If you would like to play an active role in the LEAD Netherlands Chapter, get in touch with us! We are looking forward to making a difference together with you! Join us!” For more information about the LEAD Netherlands Chapter, please contact Julia at julia.jelinska@aholddelhaize.com. LEAD Networking Events are for LEAD members only, so if you are not yet a member, then please: register here 

Meet the LEAD Netherlands Chapter Committee

Below you can find out more about the members of the LEAD Netherlands Chapter Committee:

  • Julia Jelińska, Chapter Chair and Operations Committee Lead
  • Lidija Tisljar, Chapter Vice Chair and Communications & Marketing Committee Lead
  • Marjan de Bock–Smit, Chapter Vice Chair and Membership Committee Lead
Marjan de Bock–Smit, Julia Jelińska, Lidija Tisljar
Julia Jelińska, Manager Compliance Product Integrity, Ahold Delhaize & Chapter Chair and Operations Committee Lead

“Freedom, equality and respect. These are the human rights and the values that I stand for and stand up for. I have been involved in striving to ensure these rights for everyone. Making a change in the world motivates me to actively pursue this goal and not give up!

This journey has led me also to the LEAD Network where I can contribute to further develop inclusive diverse work environment and make a difference. I began by signing up as a LEAD Member and then I joined the LEAD Membership Committee. I have taken on the challenge of setting up and running the local LEAD Chapter for the Netherlands. I have been joined by great Professionals, inspiring Role Models and amazing Thought Leaders: Lidija Tisjlar and Marjan de Bock–Smit. Together we are aiming for building the awareness about gender equality, inspiring and empowering women and men in their individual journeys as well as in their professional and business endeavors. We are thrilled about this initiative and we are looking forward to this exciting New Chapter (pun intended!) of our lives!

I am humbled and honored to work alongside Marjan, Lidija and the incredible people within the LEAD Network as well as the LEAD Members who are passionate and engaged in advancing diversity and inclusion!

Join our movement! Let’s make a difference together!”

Lidija Tisljar, Client Business Partner, Nielsen & Chapter Vice Chair and Communications & Marketing Committee Lead

“My first contact with the LEAD organization was at the conference in Amsterdam in November 2017 where I was so amazed by people, content, and energy that I immediately joined a group of wonderful people who came together to launch the LEAD Chapter in the Netherlands.

Diversity and inclusiveness have played a major role throughout my career and I feel personally committed to ensuring equal growth opportunities for everyone. 

Moreover, I believe that as business leaders in the industry, we share the responsibility to create a diverse and inclusive environment that will encourage young female talents to stay and build their careers. The only way we can do that is to actually have a diverse workforce at all levels, including management boards. 

Having female leaders as role models who inspire and encourage young women to grow and succeed is critical to the success of both diversity efforts in an organization as well as its business results. 

In other words, even if one lacks the passion for the diversity cause, they should not ignore the business benefits that result from it, be it financial results, retention or engagement levels.”

Marjan de Bock–Smit, Founder and Owner, SIM Supply Chain Information Management bv & Chapter Vice Chair and Membership Committee Lead

“As a strong believer of the strength of female leadership I walk the talk: my Tech company is led by female professionals. Not because we wanted only women, but because they were the best for the vacant position. Several leaders in the FMCG industry underline the successful outcome of a board that consist of both men and women and it is fascinating to see that despite these facts, the majority of the boardrooms are purely male.


“Personally I believe that the discussion about gender diversity should be based on a business case, not on quota. With the LEAD Network I found professionals with the same opinion. Contributing to setting up and shaping the Dutch Chapter of the LEAD Network is a logical step to actively support the achievement of the LEAD goals.”