Wendy Broersen is the CEO and Founder of Superpeople Company, a firm that helps organizations attract, retain, and develop a truly diverse and inclusive workforce. She is a confident leader who, through her pragmatic leadership approach, has created an environment where employees can thrive and reach their full potential. In the modern business space of today, Wendy has established herself as a business owner and thought leader and is single-handedly implementing large-scale business transformations with her international team of experts. Wendy aims to serve the mission and also brings in people with skills and expertise that will be valuable in achieving the organization’s mission and vision.
In an interview with Aspioneer, Wendy shares how she transformed herself into a performance powerhouse, her core strengths, and her vision for the organization.
A harmonious synergy
Wendy Broersen: “My name is Wendy Broersen, and I am an International Inclusion Expert at Superpeople Company. At Superpeople Company, we help organizations attract, retain, and develop a more diverse and inclusive workforce. Starting with gender balance training for both women and management under the name Superwomen Academy, we have been working on diversity and inclusion for over 10 years now. Within two years, we were asked to help attract more women (but sometimes also men) and help the company with a strategy to create structural changes, so consulting was added to our services as well. Over the years, we got more questions about other underrepresented groups as well, so we attracted experts on multiculturalism, disability, ageism, youngism, and LBGTQ+. Last year we changed our name to a more fitting one: Superpeople Company.”
When innovation is the USP
Wendy Broersen: “We are here to help you. You want a more diverse workforce to keep innovating, find new markets, design for a large audience, and create a great organizational culture where employees feel happy and can thrive. We don’t write reports on how to achieve that, but we sit right next to you and help you activate, motivate, and inspire you and your colleagues to define and create that desired diverse and inclusive culture. And we are right there with our knowledge and set of innovative tools to help you create that faster and easier. We use gamification, AR, VR, and our revolutionary maturity model and method called AIM, An Inclusion Model.”
Wendy Broersen: “When the financial crisis hit in 2010, my other company in advertising, communication, and gamification was thriving because I had invested online. But I saw a lot of other entrepreneurs struggling. So, I decided to set up an event for female entrepreneurs where they could get inspired, obtain knowledge, and expand their network (all growth factors). To do so, I acquired sponsors. They sent their female employees to our events and came back inspired and activated. At one time, the head of HR of one of our biggest sponsors came to me and asked me if I could set something up for all their employees to create a similar effect. My second company, Superwomen Academy, was born. As a woman, I also know what it is like to be underestimated, discriminated against, and assessed by different standards, both as an employee in a male-dominated field and as a female entrepreneur. Which enables me to look at systems, structures, and processes in a different way to make them more inclusive. I made damn sure to create a diverse team as well. I am an optimist and love bringing people together because I firmly believe that our differences will only make us drift away from each other. We can only create inclusion when we focus on what we have in common.”
Witnessing the change happen
Wendy Broersen: “Fortunately for me, times are good because diversity and inclusion are on the agenda of most large companies, and even smaller companies are taking steps. And not only on gender balance but all kinds of diversity. 10 years ago, only the most visionary companies were working on this. I also see a lot of new companies emerge that deliver similar services, which is a good thing.
Knowledge and sharing of best practices are lacking, though, so I try to speak at as many events and conferences as I possibly can. I also set up a D&I Master Program at the University of Amsterdam to bring science, research, and practical experts together and bring that knowledge to the participants.”
"If you want to stay a good leader, you have to invest in your development. I enroll and invest in learning and training every year. And I make time to meet with people to enlarge my network bubble. "
Wendy Broersen: “As a female entrepreneur, I am always often underestimated, but it gives me great pleasure when they find out about my successes. One of the difficulties that is still a big problem for me is the accessibility of funding for female entrepreneurs. I was asked stupid questions about my role as a mother and my knowledge of tech and IT when pitching for funding for my third company with a male founder. He did not get those questions, although my kids were at university and his was a newborn.
Our strength is being different, as proven by numerous studies on the successes of businesses that have a female CEO or female board members. So never divert to masculine behavior because that doesn’t come naturally. When people meet me, there is no question about my being a woman. I am quick with making decisions, I can read maps and navigate, and I have a good 3D space assessment. I am all that and more. I do wear high heels in meetings with a lot of men to be at the same eye height, though.”
Wendy Broersen: “I am most proud of my ability to inspire others to act. Nothing gives me more pleasure than to see others build upon the knowledge that I have given them and thrive. If I can help build more inclusive organizations, I can also help build a more inclusive society. I am convinced we don’t have all the great minds in this world yet because of a lack of inclusion. When we can fully use the diversity of minds all over the world, we can solve the biggest challenges our world is facing right now. Oprah Winfrey has always been a big inspiration for me. Having gone through all of her challenges and still being so positive, one hell of an entrepreneur, and always looking for ways to inspire and help others.”
Experience speaks. Wisdom guides
Wendy Broersen: “If you want to stay a good leader, you have to invest in your development. I enroll and invest in learning and training every year. And I make time to meet with people to enlarge my network bubble. I highly recommend that you meet someone you don’t know but have an interest in common with and who is NOT likely to become a supplier or client. It will enrich your life.
My advice to next-generation female leaders is to invest in obtaining knowledge of technology and IT and explore your creative side because that will never be automated. Train yourself to handle self-doubt and insecurity. And find a partner who will take an equal share in taking care of the house and family. I was lucky, and he is the great guy behind the successful woman that I am.”