Annoesjka Nienhuis is an experienced process manager and has been actively involved in the energy transition in the built environment during her entire career. As a process manager she leads the discussions toward well-defined goals and actively seeks applying innovations in the construction industry.
The shift to sustainability started for me in the early year 2000, when corporate social responsibility was defined by the Sociaal Economische Raad (SER) and embraced by the first companies. The notion of looking for a balance between People/Planet/Profit and being transparent about your choices, intrigued me and has been my main focus ever since.
The People / Planet / Profit idea has been further developed via Cradle-to-Cradle to the circular economy to the Doughnut Economy. I am currently working for the municipality of Amsterdam on the area development in Southeast. With a team I work on turning Amsterdam Southeast into a Doughnut Economy area (including the realization of a social energy transition).
I worked 3 years in innovation and sustainability for the built environment before I joined TNO where I was working on several transition management programs. The idea was that we would need a systemic view to find the right interventions in the system. From TNO, I decided to become self-employed to be able to take on more pragmatic work.
I want to deliver a positive contribution in preparing the Netherlands for global climate-change.
A glass ceiling
Women often tend to say there is a “glass ceiling” in their organization that prevents them from growing further and achieving higher positions. However, I believe that the society is changing and organization are becoming flatter and more diverse. However, large organizations are often still very hierarchically organized and there you do have a ‘glass
ceiling’. I realized in an early stage in my career, the glass ceiling also exists for male colleagues who have people management styles.
The culture of upper management in these organizations thus creates invisible barriers for everyone.
A different mental framework
I am working with a lot of western high educated men. Sometimes, I am not heard simply because what I say and how I say it, is completely out of their mental framework. It is crucial that we have people with different mindsets at the table, so we should avoid conforming to western male norms. My method is to ask a male colleague whom I could get along with, to
speak up my ideas. It is the idea that matters, not the person who gives the idea. Even if somebody is stealing your idea, it is the highest level of acceptance.
Get away with ego!
The Community at 75inQ is interesting because I am working on the energy transition and I know the value of a good network. In this community, I find various specialist with different expertise’s. And we are all influential women!
What helps a lot is that women often pay less attention to their ego and care more about the outcome. This makes it easier to change things in this worldwide transition.