Empowering Women in Middle Management to Lead

2015 – Ongoing

Just like many other large IT organisations, TomTom is dedicated to empower more women into key leadership roles and make gender bias and gender imbalance a thing of the past. After years of working with women in business, we felt we had finally discovered what made women leave their jobs during the difficult mid-career years. And born was our unique Power Partnership group coaching program which helps organisations retain, (re-)engage, and truly empower their women in middle management. We pitched the idea to TomTom and they gave us the tremendous opportunity to pilot our very first group in 2015. Since then, over 75% of the participants in the programme have been promoted and have stepped up into their leadership potential. Thank you TomTom for your continued trust.

Stefan Verstraeten, COO – TomTom Automotive

“A big part of competence is being realistic about one’s limitations. I want to run my teams strictly equal opportunity, but as a male leader my personal experience only goes so far to help top female talent develop and thrive.

That is where I have found an excellent partner in Manuela and her team at Azkua (formerly known as Open The Door Leadership), who have achieved outstanding results with several of the most talented women I work with. The programs gave them important insights in limiting and enabling dynamics – in themselves as well as the organization around them – and equipped them with practical tools and techniques to address these.

I’ve seen these women grow more confident, more effective and more engaged, while still remaining true to themselves. They have become my coaches too, expanding my own skill set to get better as a holistic and truly gender-neutral leader.”

“The Power Partnership program provides a powerful set of tools for women to unleash their potential and to become effective leaders. It helps raise awareness on where are we at the moment and what we need to do to achieve our goals. I am amazed how much each of us individually managed to make progress in developing ourselves and in making a visible impact.

For me personally, just being able to articulate my values and to stick to them in everything I do is the biggest achievement that helps me grow every day. I enjoy very much applying the learnings from this course to help others, both men and women, to achieve their potential or “to deal” with difficult situations at work.

Working in a small but safe group with other talented women in TomTom is what makes this course even more powerful. We share, we learn, and we inspire each other to always go that extra mile.”

Natasa Jovanovic

Senior Product Manager, TomTom

“Some coaching programs are a ‘good experience’. Others transform you in ways you never expected. For me, the Power Partnership is the latter. It’s been the single most transformative training I’ve ever experienced so far.

From confidence to practical strategies, the Power Partnership has made a mark on both my personal and professional life. This inevitably reflects in the work that I do and the outlook that I bring to the table.

If the goal is to use the potential of TomTom’s female workforce to the max, then running the Power Partnership is the best way to achieve this.

Being part of this program is also a sign for me that TomTom believes in me and is invested in my development. It’s proof that TomTom is not only talking the talk, but truly walking the walk. I feel very grateful to be part of it. It’s a great way to boost employee engagement across the board.”

Nicoletta Anton

Global Thought Leadership Strategist & Copywriter, TomTom

“Azkua has helped me unleash my talents and strengths in ways I did not see before. I am more clearly communicating with colleagues, more efficiently managing my workload/ overload, and more clearly identifying what I want in my career.

The close cohort of women and the biweekly commitment to improving ourselves have been one of the best parts of my time at the company. My boss openly shares his observations with me – my increased confidence, openness, boldness, and hopefully soon he will add better work-life balance to that list.

I’ve taken group courses with previous companies – but here, the focus is on women, in a safe small group, with personalized attention, and ongoing accountability and feedback.  I am looking forward to bringing the bond this group of women has built and the skills we honed with me to #achievemore.”

Allison Woolcott

Business Controller, TomTom

Feedbacks from participants of our open courses

“Before the start of the course, I was unsure of the outcome and what to expect. By the end of day 1 I had one of the most insightful days of training I’ve had in 25 years of my professional life.

Understanding the essence of what it means to be human at work is a gift this coaching program gives through the masterful facilitation of Azkua.”

Lynette Croxford

Head of People and Engagement, LeQuest

“I had the pleasure of attending a ‘Women in Leadership’ course by Azkua. The sessions were thoughtfully prepared and creative, and provided opportunities for discussion and reflection on leadership.

We worked on seting healthy boundaries, having difficult conversations, and positively presenting ourselves. Highly recommended for those considering a leadership role or needing mentoring for growth.”

Elle Ryan

Head of School, International School Delft

A perfect balance of techniques and insights, emotions, love, laughter, harsh truths, and a bit of self-sabotaging. A group of wonderful women entered a roller-coaster. During several days, the course took us to highs and lows, to lefts and rights, and all upside down – with the sole purpose of providing us with the tools and energy to get the best out of ourselves and the ones we lead.

Dana Cepariu

Master Data Governance & Projects Manager, Friesland Campina