Women in Leadership Programme

I have come to believe we all have a story to share. Women especially. What I feel most passionate about in my work is strengthening women’s voices in the world. And through doing that, contributing to a more compassionate, kind, and inclusive world.

As a leadership trainer, I put this mission into action through bringing my women-only Women in Leadership Programme to companies, NGOs, businesses, and many other organisations.

My approach to leadership and coaching

At the core of the Women in Leadership Programme lies my belief that good, effective and sustainable leadership first comes from leadership over ourselves: inside-out leadership.

What do I mean with ‘inside-out leadership’? I believe that leadership isn’t necessarily – or only- about mastering certain skills that we can learn. Rather, it’s about each person’s own internal peculiarities, wisdom, strengths, and challenges. When we tap into that potential and bring that fully to our business, organisation, or team, we ourselves as well as those we work with thrive.

I also think that inside-out leadership has at its heart performance and kindness, strong decision-making and empathy, self-propelled action and collaboration.

I strongly believe in the strength of a group of women. Coming together in a group to share experiences, learn from each other’s dilemmas, and celebrate each other’s growth and achievements has proven to create a solid success architecture for participants.

In addition to the group programme, I’m always happy to organise individual coaching sessions for the group’s participants.

The programme

To truly be able to step into leadership, I believe it is of vital importance to feel tuned in to one’s own inner compass. To know which values steer our behaviour and nourish us. To navigate our voice of self-doubt (that every human being experiences). To be able to steer ourselves towards our own wisdom, strengthen the authentic voice within ourselves, and let that be the core of our leadership. And to be able to give feedback freely – and revel in feedback when given it!

This programme will support women who … :

… Are eager to step into value-driven, authentic leadership.

… Are all too familiar with the inner voice of ‘you’re not good/smart/thin/fun/…’ – enough. Who experience that sometimes their Inner Critic (that self-critical voice) seems to run the show. And who would love to be able to respond to that in a self-supportive way.

… Want to connect to their own inner confidence, authority and authenticity, all the untapped potential that’s waiting right there to be discovered, and make that the centrepiece of their leadership.

… Feel that they sometimes ‘lose themselves’ in the demands, asks, or needs of others (colleagues, family obligations, friends), and want to be able to assert their boundaries and say ‘no’ more easily.

… Are curious to learn a new, radical approach to feedback that gives them the freedom to enjoy giving and receiving feedback fearlessly.

After this programme, participants will … :

…Be aware of their inner values and how to use those as a decision-making guide in their leadership.

 … Have a toolbox filled with simple, easy-to-use, in-the-moment tools to navigate their inner critic voice in a way that truly supports them, in all situations.

… Have easy access to their own inner compass, that will accompany them as an inner (rather than external) mentor available to them whenever needed, and put that right-front-and-centre of their leadership.

… Be able to say ‘no’ more easily to all the things they don’t want – and ‘yes’ to what they truly do want.

… Relish giving and receiving feedback.

To see what the Women in Leadership Programme’s sessions look like, click here.

The programme can take place online, in-company, or in central locations in the Netherlands that are easily reached by car and public transportation.

About Annemarie

Women’s voices have always been at the centre of the work I’ve done.

As a leadership trainer, I guide women’s leadership and personal development. When working with me, you get the unique blend of my ‘cognitive’ side, and my coaching, transformational, intercultural, and sensitive side.

I was educated as an arabist and anthropologist at Utrecht (BA), Cambridge (MPhil), Cairo, Birzeit, and Nijmegen (PhD) universities. In addition, I have extensive experience in leadership, advisory work, communication, negotiation, entrepreneurship, and teaching & mentorship. I worked all across Europe and the Middle East, where I lived for many years. At the same time, and importantly, intercultural sensitivity, generous and safe space-holding, as well as an approach of care and gentleness are central to the way I host the Women in Leadership Programme.

My programme is based on the Playing Big Facilitators Training that I took with Tara Mohr (USA), and the Practical Coaching Skills training that I completed at ICM Opleidingen & Trainingen (NL). I also draw from what I learned in Non-Violent Communication and Mindful Self-Compassion courses. I regularly attend meditation retreats. I bring these techniques to the programme when helpful – no candles and incense though ;-)!

In the past 10 years, I have supported women in academia, entrepreneurs, CEOs, judges, activists, religious leaders, as well as women in many other professions. It always feels like a privilege, and each time I’m blown away by how essential the container of support offered in a group programme can be for women. I (have) enjoy(ed) working with these clients.

My leadership work with women evolved from my life as an anthropologist and arabist. For many years, I worked with women on women’s rights in the Middle East. In addition, I enjoyed bringing a women’s rights and gender-sensitive perspective to organisations in the Netherlands as a trainer and advisor. I also wrote a book about women’s lives in Saudi Arabia. The name of my organisation, Faraasha, means ‘butterfly’ in Arabic and symbolises the colourful cross-pollination, exchange, and transformation that nourishes me in this calling.

I’ve lived in 8 countries and speak 4 languages (Dutch, English, Arabic, French). I spent many years living in England (Peterborough and Cambridge) and in the Middle East (Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait). Eventually, I moved back home to Utrecht, the Netherlands. I now feel strongly rooted in this beautiful city and love having my friends and family nearby – but I cherish (and miss!) my friends across the world. I’m married, and my husband and I welcomed our baby girl into our family in January 2023.

Some of my other loves are long walks along the beach with the wind in my hair, meaningful conversations with friends, silky cappuccinos, swimming, my bike, meditation, writing and journaling, and butterflies & the transformation they symbolise.

Reviews & Recommendations

The Women in Leadership Programme was part of the Shiraka Training for Women in the Judiciary, which brought together 25 women in the legal profession from 10 different countries across the Middle East. This Shiraka Training was managed by Joke Pisters and Fleur van Lit of the Center for International Legal Cooperation.

Here’s what Joke and Fleur have to say about the Women in Leadership Programme:

"As the Shiraka Training Project Manager, I had the pleasure of working together with Annemarie on female leadership for 25 legal professionals from the Middle East and North Africa. 

Annemarie developed and facilitated a personal leadership journey, which she hosted through a series of online sessions. Her professional, constructive and open attitude gave an incredible boost to the overall Shiraka Training! Annemarie makes sure that everyone's leadership questions and dilemmas are addressed by creating a safe space for participants to grow. 

Throughout the programme, participants connected to their core values, inner critic and inner mentor. Through her background as an arabist, Annemarie easily established a meaningful connection with the participants, which was exactly what we were looking for in this programme. 

I would highly recommend Annemarie to any organisation that aims to organise a meaningful leadership journey for individuals or groups!"

~ Joke Pisters, Project Manager Center for International Legal Cooperation          
"As a Project Manager, working with Annemarie is a breath of fresh air. She really connects with the group, even in an online format. She helps each participant find her inner strength and motivates everyone to move forward in their leadership journeys. With her meticulous preparation and flexible approach, each session is valuable and makes everyone look forward to the next one!"

~ Fleur van Lit, Project Manager Center for International Legal Cooperation   

This is how participants in the Shiraka Training Programme look back on their experience:

"I learned from Annemarie’s sessions during Shiraka training programme on Female Leadership how to face my self-doubts and fears, how to deal with my inner critic voice, and to connect with my inner mentor, not only at work, but also at all levels of life. 

I’m no longer as hesitant as before. Othe contrary, I have become more daring to step towards experiencing everything new to unleash my dreams, achieve my ambitions, to become a change maker.

I was inspired by Annemarie’s character. She influenced me greatly. Her sessions were a starting point to live my core values more fully, to get out from my comfort zone, and to move forward to my leadership goals. Her energy, creativity, inspiring vision, deep passion for empowering women, high level skills, and professional technique are extremely empowering and motivating. I highly recommend her as a trainer and coach in the field of self-development and leadership."
~ Sewar Alrashdan, Judge at Amman First Instance Court, Jordan 

Coachees I have worked with in one-on-one sessions look back on their experience in these ways:

"You have a wonderful, warm energy and a beautiful way of holding space that felt reassuring to me. This created room for me to explore my dilemmas. Also, the action plans we made were very helpful to me: I moved forward on things that had kept me stuck for ever! The accountability bit made me feel more supported and less lonely."

~ Aziza, entrepreneur, the Netherlands
"I loved your good, powerful questions. You really challenged me! But in a gentle way that kept me on track, and allowed me to gain clarity. It feels like a very safe space with you, even through Zoom. Like there is no screen between us and you’re right here with me in London, while in fact you’re across the Channel in the Netherlands."

~ Sarita, Senior Diversity, Inclusion & Equity Officer, UK 
"Annemarie is a masterful coach. She helped me identify my core values and self-limiting doubts. Her coaching questions guided me to find my own authentic inner voice of wisdom. I highly recommend her to anyone wanting to work with a coach." 

~ Chris O'Halloran PhD, CEO Healthy Oceans Healthy People, USA
"After our sessions together I feel more confident and it's much easier for me to speak up. My job is very demanding and it's now so much easier for me recognise and assert my boundaries. I have a much better work-life balance and more time and energy for my creative love: painting."

~ Janneke, Associate Professor, the Netherlands