International women’s day, the day that represents strength and solidarity among women all over the world. The theme of women’s day 2021 is Choose to Challenge; because a challenging world is a changing one.

One of our firm’s driving forces is COO Esther Jansen. She does not only influence the people within the company but as a mother, she also influences her daughter Naomi.

What made you become the COO of VANEPS?

My nature, I am someone that is persistent. I want to discover the most effective and efficient approach to enhance the processes of the various departments within our firm. Moreover, in my early career, I was offered space to make my own decisions and that came with many opportunities which I choose to seize with both hands.

Have you experienced any boundaries on your way to the top that reflect on the gender difference?

Not really. However, I did notice that within a law firm men tend to be more in the limelight, especially during meetings and when expressing ones opinion. In the early days of my career I therefore sometimes felt that my (female) voice was not being heard.

How do you motivate the women within the firm?

I always look for opportunities to include the women within the firm so they become more visible. My goal is to get more women at the top of our firm since I am currently the only female partner. Moreover, I try to empower our staff by including them and relying on their expertise. Seeking the boundaries of their comfort zone gives them space to develop and grow.

Did you have a role model that inspired and motivated you when you were little?

It is not really in my nature to look up to somebody, but I believe that my upbringing; the independence and self-reflection that my parents taught me, helped me a lot in achieving my goals.  Always look to yourself when trying to achieve a goal and never depend on someone else.

How do you inspire and motivate your daughter to become successful?

The importance of knowing what you want and being willing to work hard for it is key in our household. Guiding her in her journey to discovering what she wants and seeking boundaries is sometimes a challenge but I try to avoid judging her choices. There is room for mistakes in our house but no room for laziness. So, hopefully she one day knows that hard work pays off and contributes to achieving her goals.

Is there anything else you wish to add?

We women must aim to support, help, and motivate each other. International women’s day reminds us that we need to stick together and help each other out because unfortunately, we are still a minority in the boardrooms.

We need to stick together and help each other out because unfortunately, we are still a minority in the boardrooms