Could you tell us a bit about yourself?
I'm Maren, I've been working for IG&H for a little over five years now. A month or two ago I had my anniversary, which my team turned into a small party at the team meeting so that was pretty cool. I'm 31 years old and I live in a small village close to Amsterdam that's a bit rural. I live with my boyfriend and my dog, a chocolate Labrador. In my free time, you'll find me outside because I love nature and the water. I like leaving my phone at home, clearing my head and just going onto the stand-up paddleboard, which we bought during COVID.
A bit about my background: First, I studied medicine because I wanted to be a doctor. During my internships I realized that I liked the healthcare sector, but I didn't want to become a doctor and work with patients and protocols all day. I saw so many things where I wanted to help – but in a broader sense, within the entire healthcare sector. That's when I started to study healthcare management and a financial management master.
What drew you to IG&H?
Just before finishing my second master, I again realized I wanted to work in the healthcare sector and have a positive impact. I saw that people were struggling and that it was becoming more and more expensive. I was looking for offices working in this sector and doing consultancy work because I love change, doing different things and learning new things. Working on a project basis is great, you can just walk into a new work environment every couple of months.
I had my first interview at IG&H at the office. Afterwards I thought to myself, "Oh my god, I really love this, it's great. I want to work here." That made me quite uncomfortable because I still had a few interview rounds ahead of me - it was the first time I was really excited about a potential job, felt the warmth of the company and liked the people! At the end, it turned out great and I'm here five years later and still happy.
What does a typical day at IG&H look like?
This is a difficult question. First, it really changed through COVID. I have a couple of things that you do for projects, like meeting with colleagues and clients, brainstorming, preparing things. You also do things yourself, such as reports and analyses, so your own screen time. Those two combined is about 90% of a typical day.
What I also do are things such as The Empowerment Network and think about cool things we can do in the sector with my colleagues. Everyone says that 'no day is the same' but for us it's true! The projects, the content... it's always different. Besides that, IG&H as a company gives the responsibility to its employees. If you have a good idea and you want to make it work, 'okay, give it a go!' They help you make time and it's also appreciated that you put time into that within the company.
What do you enjoy most about working at IG&H?
It's never boring and I can affect the sector at large. And of course, my colleagues because within work I see two important things: you must like what you're doing, and you need to like the people you're doing it with. For me, I can be myself in every kind of way here. If I'm happy, I can be myself and if I'm not, I can say what's on my mind. That's possible thanks to the people.
What has been your proudest moment at IG&H?
I've been working on the LCPS project, the covid patient distribution center. There was nothing – no network, no people responsible for this, the hospitals had never done something like this. We started this in a couple of days, and I was proud to be working on such a high-impact project in these strange times. The world was upside down and especially in healthcare you want to work along and help somehow.
I think my colleagues and I were proud to see how everyone was able to go above and beyond. Everyone put in all their effort, you saw the passion in people's eyes because they wanted this to work. The COVID crisis is in a different stage now, the center is still there and every time I see it on the news or in the newspaper or on LinkedIn, I think to myself, "WE started that. The structures and ideas we created are still helping people today."
You are also involved in another project within IG&H, could you tell us more about The Empowerment Network?
Nine other female colleagues and I started the Stratego for women training. Already after the first session, we gained so many great insights. On the one side, what we learned from the training. On the other side, what we learned from each other by talking about what we witness at our work or what we struggle with. We found out that we've been through the same things and just by talking about it we already took a step forward. After the first session Myrthe van Hoek, Lisanne Swennenhuis and I were inspired to start a network to start a dialog amongst men and women about empowerment and female leadership and inspire them with events throughout the year.
The initiative hasn't launched just yet, but we already know that it's about getting to know the tiny things that can help you feel empowered. Sometimes we think only broad and big things make a difference, and that it's just you that gets into these struggles. However, when sharing with colleagues you see that a lot of others struggle as well. You can choose what actions you would like to take, actions that still match your identity and are true to who you are. These are different for each person.
What would you like to achieve?
I want to give colleagues that same feeling of 'I can do this. I am here for a reason. I'm good at these things.' It's not really a gender thing but more who are you as a person. I really like that everyone is included and can learn from this for their own personal development. We want to achieve that TEN (The Empowerment Network) becomes an inclusive space for self-development.