My story

Ingeborg Kroese, owner Enhance Facilitation

After obtaining my Master degree (cum laude) in Economics at Groningen University in the Netherlands, I started my career working for Procter & Gamble. Starting as Account Manager, I drove all over the Netherlands to sell Pampers and Always to retail customers. Seven years later, after having progressed through the P&G sales ranks to National Account Manager, I moved to Pepsico as Sales Manager in the Netherlands.

In the following years, I held several management and leading positions for Pepsico in the Middle East/North Africa and the UK. I specialized in Revenue Management, driving net revenues and gross margins. I lived in Pakistan, the UAE, UK, and Austria.

After a corporate career of 15 years, I needed more flexibility in life, because of our child with special needs. I started my first Learning & Development company in Dubai. With this business I developed and facilitated commercial, interpersonal and management/ leadership programmes in different countries and cultures, such as Germany, USA, Brazil, Dubai, UK, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey, Pakistan. In Vienna, Austria, I followed the 2-year program ‘Lehrgang Lösungsfokussiertes Coachen und Beraten’ (Solution Focussed Coaching and Consulting). In 2016, I moved back to the Netherlands and founded ENHANCE Facilitation.

Dedicated to equitable learning and development
Movements such as Black Lives Matter, MeToo and Pride are drawing increasing attention to systematic racism and sexism. Diversity, inclusiveness, and equal opportunities are therefore recurring themes in society. For me personally, these are also recurring themes, both in my professional and family life. My husband and I have a diverse family of four, born in Pakistan, Dubai, and Vietnam. This diverse family composition shows me the importance of equity for the next generation.

During my career, I worked in incredibly diverse and inclusive environments. My preconceived and culturally situated beliefs and values were challenged and had to be revisited. Learning was endless. I have witnessed exclusion and marginalization and saw what this can do to people’s lives, hopes, dreams and aspirations.

It continues to intrigue me why it seems so difficult to move the needle on diversity in corporate leadership. Despite many diversity and inclusion initiatives. And why, in the world of corporate training and development, a participant’s sex or gender dynamics is not really considered when designing or facilitating a programme. While at the same time, we see a significant increase in female-only courses, such as female MBA’s and female sales programmes.

All these experiences combined, made me want to dedicate time and energy to conduct academic research regarding equity in training in corporate environments. First as a master student, and after obtaining my master degree, as doctoral researcher.

Groundbreaking research
My doctoral research aims to fill the current knowledge gap on the role of gender in corporate training and development. My research highlights that gender plays a key role in all elements of training. This led to the conclusion that not recognizing the role of gender in training will only benefit the majority. As a result, the status quo of gender inequity will be maintained and possibly even strengthened. As a doctoral researcher, my aim is to enable training organizers and corporate clients to ensure their training is gender equitable and inclusive for all.

There are many areas of difference that need to be considered when discussing diversity & inclusion, such as gender, race, and class. It has been shown time and time again that the effects of these areas of difference are connected and reinforce each other, also called intersectionality. Learning about gender equity helps to understand the processes that result in inequity and exclusion based on other social categories as well. And intersectionality is a core element of my Gender Equity in Training Programmes.

Expertise: learning & development, corporate training, sales and revenue management, customer goods industry, equity in training, diversity, inclusion, intersectionality,