Womens History Month: Elise Pietersen
Our Customer Success Manager Elise Pietersen gives an insight into her career and role
At Lepaya we really want to take the time to appreciate our female colleagues. This month each week, we share a small glimpse into the day-to-day of our colleagues to celebrate their personal and career achievements. We started the month off with an interview with Sara Shehata, talking about her role within the tech team. This month we’ve spoken to Head of Operations Geraldine Schepers, and Office & People Manager Caitlin Vorstman.
This week in the spotlight our Customer Success Manager – Elise Pietersen:
“It surprises people when I tell them that as a child I was extremely shy.
To the point that I hardly talked to anyone in primary school. I got less shy in high school and gradually grew out of my shyness in university. However, part of that shyness stayed with me until I found myself in a corporate job, as a coach in a customer services department of a large Global Corporate Insurance company, and found a mentor and incredibly strong female role model.
I was 28 and stuck in my career. I was proud of what I achieved so far but did not really know what direction to take my career in. I had always had an interest in people development and L&D but had no prior experience, or degree in that field. I did know that I found our head of L&D, Sarah, extremely inspiring. Having seen her deliver training to large groups of people, manage leadership days for the MT and speak up on calls with hundreds of people, I knew she would be an incredible leader and role model to learn from. I reached out to her, we talked and she gave me some jobs to do alongside my role as a coach, to see if I would be a good fit and would like the L&D field. She pushed me to sign up for an internal awards & recognition workgroup, something completely out of my comfort zone. And when a job opened in her team I applied and got offered the position.
My job as a trainer and L&D professional was a steep learning curve, having to leave behind the super-shy child and move into the ‘I got this’ headspace. Because believing in yourself is not always easy, especially when you work in a very corporate environment with a male-dominated leadership community. However, having someone else that believes in you, and tells you that they believe in you can work wonders. Sarah supported me every step of the way and was the mentor I was looking for, encouraging me to speak up and be heard whenever I had new ideas or when I disagreed with what was put in front of me. She inspired me to be disruptive when needed but also to always listen to what other people have to say. She introduced me to other female leaders in our company and helped me to create a network of strong and independent women around me. But most importantly she inspired me to be authentically myself. That you do not need to fit into a certain box to be successful and should never be made to feel that you do not belong in a certain job or company, because you are a woman or because you refuse to conform to archaic corporate traditions.
When I left the company to move back to The Netherlands, I knew she had given me incredible skillset and mindset that would support me wherever I ended up. And I was very lucky to end up at Lepaya, where I get to work daily with other inspirational women, who are outspoken and full of incredible ideas. And I feel that Lepaya as a company treasures and fosters a community that allows women to thrive just as much as men. Having Sarah’s incredible bravery and power as a woman in the back of my mind at all times, I am now hoping that I will be able to inspire other women to believe in themselves and question everything that they don’t feel is right.”
Interested in our view on equality, D&I, and what we do?
Start with our page on Diversity and Inclusion at Lepaya
Check out the D&I page
and check out our Power Skill: Diversity and Inclusion
Ready for the job market with the right skills
Read about YoungCapital’s experience of preparing young professionals, who do net yet have the practical skills they need to stand out, for the labor market.Download the case study