Stratego for women: an education for all

The WIA-Dutch Space event in Leiden was a fascinating, varied and interactive day that attracted around 60 women from a wide range of backgrounds.

All attendants were welcomed with an exclusive tour of Dutch Space’s famous clean room. After that, they were seated and the presentations began. The opening was by Dutch Space CEO Bart Reijnen, who spoke about the company’s efforts and troubles with recruiting women, and what they add to a business. He outlined the difficulties companies can face when vying with other companies for a small amount of women with technical backgrounds, and passed on the discussion to the audience, who contributed their own input and opinions. The students in particular had a great deal to ask regarding female recruitment in aerospace companies.

Following Bart Reijnen were two accomplished women who had both ‘made it’ in their fields. Catherine Poincheval and Claude Dubreuil, both from Astrium, spoke about the successes and challenges they had undergone along their journey. The audience was then encouraged to ask them questions about their experiences, both past and present.

Monic Bührs, author of the book ‘Stratego for Women’ took over after a short coffee break. An expert on how women can use traditional ‘female’ qualities to their advantage, she led another highly interactive session. During the workshop, she examined with the group various pitfalls women trip up at professionally, and how to avoid them, or turn them into strengths.

The drinks afterwards revealed just how diverse the group was – aerospace students, astronomers, scientists and engineers and managers… All from all over the world, with their own experiences to share and stories to tell.

Our profound thanks to corporate member Dutch Space for hosting and arranging such an interesting day.

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Vision: A European aerospace sector with a balanced representation of women on all levels.