In conversation with Marjolein Steinebach

Marjolein Steinebach is the Female Ventures City Coordinator for The Hague and Delft. She
took over as City Coordinator at a challenging time – March 2020 to be exact. However, that
hasn’t stopped her motivations to uplift business women and host engaging events in 2020
such as their successful Inspirational Speed Dating event.

Marjolein has worked at national and regional governmental levels for over 15 years building
and incorporating innovative processes and strategies within complex international
environments. Her work has allowed her to travel around the world, learn from varied
work-cultures and make unique connections with a wide range of businesses from local
start-ups and tech companies to large global corporations like Unilever and Shell.

Marjolein recently gained a promotion as Manager Business Climate at the MRDH, a
collaboration of 23 municipalities in the metropolitan region of Rotterdam and The Hague.
Interestingly, her work was not directly affected by the pandemic. This has provided great
learning opportunities to further future-proof parts of the industry and work towards
supporting local municipalities who have taken the brunt of the COVID-19 impact.

We caught up with Marjolein back in November for an in-depth interview about why she
volunteers at Female Ventures and to find out more about her career story. Her warmth,
humor and general enthusiasm beamed through the video call and it was a pleasure to
learn more about this marvelous, successful business woman.

Read on for the full interview…

1) Why did you join Female Ventures?
I joined for two reasons: my love for volunteer work and what Female Ventures stands for.
I have always loved volunteering next to my career and social life because it is very
rewarding. After experiencing some major setbacks in my personal life, I wanted to work out
how to structure my life and voluntary work plays an important role in this.
In regard to joining Female Ventures, I was introduced to the platform by Linda van der
Windt, the City Coordinator of Female Ventures Rotterdam. I felt inspired by their mission to
empower women in business by providing them with tools, knowledge and a professional
network. Although Female Ventures is not aimed specifically at governmental jobs, I felt as
though I could benefit from being a member of the female-focused community. At work, I
attend boardroom meetings where the majority of colleagues are older white men which isn’t
right, especially in 2020. I am motivated to make this awareness in my sector and am
enthusiastic about getting more women noticed for these types of positions.
2) When your friends, family and colleagues find out that you volunteer as a
Female Ventures City Coordinator, what do they say or ask?
If I’m being honest, my work colleagues are slightly skeptical because they think that it is a
broad feminist network wanting to break all glass ceilings. In my personal life, everyone is
enthusiastic whenever I mention Female Ventures. I find a lot of ladies become curious
when I start talking about our events. Also, I have friends who do voluntary work at other
female-orientated charities and feminist groups so they are always interested in what we’re
3) What do you do when you’re not working or volunteering for Female Ventures?
Over the last couple months, I think I’ve been doing the same as everyone else: staying at
home! I have also watched lots of movies, played sports and taken walks. Before COVID-19,
I used to meet up every 5-6 weeks with a group of ladies at someone’s house and talk all
night over drinks and snacks. It is a great mix of different individuals and the group continues
to grow every time. I also enjoy playing board games and solving murder mysteries.
4) We cannot ignore what a crazy year 2020 has been, what would you say you’ve
learned about yourself?
This year, I have found myself at home all the time and therefore, not able to connect and
network with people in the usual way. One thing I have learned about myself is that I am
very flexible and do not panic when I cannot do something. I just think to myself, one day,
this will pass. It is clear that some projects and meetings require human interaction – you
cannot get that same energy from a laptop. However, it means that you must become more
creative to achieve a different sort of energy that still allows the project to thrive.
5) What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
Instead of best advice, I will share my personal mantra: learning how to dance in the rain.
This basically means when everything is against you, you should always look for the brighter
side of things. I learned this from my personal struggles. I am a big believer in fighting for the
things you love but also remembering the importance of setting out your boundaries.
6) Finally, what are your aspirations and motivations for 2021?
This is quite simple; to grow in my current job. It will take a lot of energy, networking and
reading around the subject in order to thrive in my position and make a difference. I am also
working with a professional coach on this journey which takes up time but will be worthwhile.

We want to thank Marjolein for taking the time to talk to us and wish all our readers
and members a Merry Christmas. Look out for more newsletter interviews with Female
Ventures volunteers in 2021.

Written by Poppy Millar, Team Utrecht’s Social Media Manager Volunteer for Female

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