Step Up Event for ambitious women from Twente

Step Up. Future of Twente, in collaboration with Twentse Vos, will be holding an event with this name on Monday the 11th of April. It will take place at a ‘beautiful location in Twente’ (in other words, this will remain secret for a while). Both organisations were created as platforms for ambitious women from Twente.

In short:

  • Future of Twente will organise its first ‘Step Up Event’ on the 11th of April. The way to the top will be explained in seven steps.
  • Yara Hümmels, party leader of PvdA Enschede, and former top athlete Maud Roetgering (FC Twente women) talk about their paths.

Global Goal

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Annette Onrust wrote a book called ‘topvrouw in zeven stappen’ (How to reach the top in seven steps as a woman). Reason enough to invite her to talk about this during the event, and to organise several workshops using these seven steps as a foundation:

  1. Discovering your strengths
  2. Determining your path
  3. Tackling obstacles
  4. Balance
  5. Creating impact
  6. Showing yourself
  7. Exerting influence


“We want to give special attention to personal development”, says Future of Twente founder Irene van Eerden, a collective of Twente companies that would like to see and supports more female talent in business and beyond.

Members of Future of Twente are all making progress. Two of them talk about their ways to the top.

Not on the sidelines

Yara Hümmels is party leader for the PvdA in Enschede. In her five years as councillor and four years as party leader, she is mostly concerned with step seven; exerting influence. “I am in this position because I refused to remain on the sidelines. I want to help society and the city by influencing the decisions that are made.”


Her involvement started at a young age. “I had a good life and grew up in a nice and warm family. We always had foster children at home, so I knew from an early age that there were also people growing up in less favourable circumstances. I think that’s why I always worry about others and want to get involved.” Exerting influence in politics is often a long process. “Yes, that’s right.  The influence you have is often not as much as you would like, and things do not happen as quickly as you would want. But the influence is definitely there. It is important to create urgency for subjects that you care about or subjects that link to current affairs. An example is street harassment. Myrthe Westrik, a student from Enschede, started a petition to draw attention to this issue, and I immediately contacted her and arranged for her to present the petition. Street harassment was eventually banned from the city. Although it remains to be seen whether it will stand up legally, it is great that the ban is now in place and that it got some attention.”

Say yes!

Hümmels has another example. An official plan to dim street lights earlier, in the interest of sustainability, was reviewed on her initiative. “Policy proposals are mostly made by men, so there is often no consideration whatsoever of how these things affect women. It makes quite a difference for women whether there are lights or not. I think it is important that women are heard. Diversity is important in all areas, such as in business or politics. We are on the way there, but we are not there yet. This is, by the way, not just due to the actions of men, who are often said to be passing each other jobs. That is a contributing factor, but women also often refuse higher positions because it makes them nervous or they are insecure. Men are much less affected by this. I would advise all women: say yes if you are wanted for these positions!”

In society

 Former FC Twente player and captain Maud Roetgering is working on step two; determining her path after her career in top sport. “I am now working as a commercial manager for FCT women, but it took me a long time to find my path after my career as an athlete. I studied Technical Textiles at Saxion and obtained a bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences at the UT. I stopped playing football a year and a half ago and suddenly found myself ‘in society’. I was always part of a team before this, and my path was pretty much laid out for me. I suddenly found myself on my own. My identity, from a fifteen-year-old girl to a 28-year-old woman, was completely centred around football. This meant I had to reinvent myself, and it took me a while to get to where I am now, to determine my path. In any case, I have made sure, as part of my job, that the girls who stop playing football now receive proper guidance. We help them find their talents outside of football and make the transition easier.”

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Date: 7 March 2022 |

Source of tekst: Future of Twente |

Author: Maaike Thüss

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