Female Tech Heroes - The Mentors 2020

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Here they are! The 30 inspiring rolemodels who are going to have mentor sessions with 120 ambitious professionals at the online event of Female Tech Heroes - The Mentor Edition at December 1st.

Carmen van Vilsteren
Chair Topsector Life Science & Health and Director Health at TU/e

Carmen van Vilsteren received her degree in Industrial Engineering and Design with honors in 1985 from Delft University of Technology. She has an impressive entrepreneurial background and has been active in both startups and multinationals. Her most recent position was as Solution Development Manager for the Material Science Business Unit at FEI Company (2008-2015). Between 1986 and 2004, she held a variety of positions at Philips Healthcare, specifically at the Cardiovascular X-ray division, where she successfully led the development of new systems that are currently successfully used worldwide to diagnose and treat patients with cardiovascular diseases. Carmen is also CEO of Microsure, a TU/e spinoff in the field of microsurgical robots.In addition to her work at TU/e, she also acts as mentor for MedTech startups.

Topics: Personal growth & work-life balance

Bert-Jan Woertman
Ecosystem builder and social innovator

In different managerial roles Bert-Jan Woertman helped create High Tech Campus Eindhoven, contributed to the development of the TU/e Campus and was responsible for kickstarting the Brainport Industries Campus. He is also co-founder of deep tech venture builder HighTechXL and incubator HighTech Plaza. Recently Bert-Jan co-founded the braintech startup AlphaBeats. As liaison manager he’s helping TU/e Innovation Space and its student teams to grow their innovation ecosystem. In 2018 he was elected one of the 50 ‘Futuremakers’ that shape the Dutch startup and innovation ecosystem.  

Topics: Innovating and networking in an ecosystem

Maron Galama
Partner & co-founder Bluetivity

Curious to find out more about What makes You unique? What special values you can bring to a team/company? What particular skills and competences you already do have, but you are not yet fully aware of? Let’s meet! I am Maron Galama a depth psychologist with over 20 years of business experience. As a depth psychologist, I like to combine getting to the core by taking a deep dive and at the same time looking for practical possibilities that will bring you more clarity in your career. 

What you will get: 
- Recognize Your Uniqueness and Embrace it 
- Enable yourself to grow more confidently
- Enhance your Selfconfidence 

Topics: Personal growth

Inge Lekkerkerker
Client Group Lead for Telecom, High Tech, Media, Software & Platforms at Accenture

After years serving clients in the telecom, media and high tech space, I was very keen to move into the industry more focused on Software & Platforms companies. As I like the challenge to see how we can help the most digital savvy clients on their growth journeys. 

In this role I’m leveraging nearly twenty years of experience in client consulting roles while supporting business development, deal shaping, deal negotiation of outsourcing opportunities within our practice. As well as my former role within Accenture as the Director of Operations for our Consulting practice in Communications, Media and Technology. This gives me the understanding of operationally running a business and make sure we give our clients the same level of care and focus on operational efficiency.

Topics: Career advice & How to survive in a male-dominated work environment

Michaela Landry
Manager Configuration Status Accounting at ASML

Originally from Germany, I left Europe after college to work for Mercedes in the United States and ended up staying there for 8 years working in the automotive and rail industry as process engineer, value stream manager, and project and team lead. Upon our return to Europe I decided to work as a consultant in automotive, but realized that traveling a lot didn’t work for me as a mother. I moved to the Netherlands in 2016 and have since worked at ASML, as a team lead in configuration management, but also the initiator of the Angel Tree at ASML, and the chair of women@ASML.  

My passion is to help women and other minorities have their voices heard and enable an inclusive work environment, but also to help less privileged children understand that they can be anything and to also bring them some joy for Christmas and Sinterklaas.  

Topics: Personal growth & work-life balance

Natasa Jovanovic
Customer-focused Product Leader at TomTom

Business oriented product leader with strong technical background. Customer-focused and data-driven. Passionate about design, development and delivery of innovative technologies and products with seamless user experience. More than 18 years of professional experience in a variety of fields including product management, technical leadership, user experience design, software engineering, people management and scientific research. 

Strong analytical, problem-solving, decision-making and people skills. Successful in working with multidisciplinary, international, cross-department and distributed teams. 

Topics: Personal growth

Guus Frericks
Founder and CEO at HighTechXL

Entrepreneurial, results-oriented international business leader with strong strategic, analytical, commercial and people management skills. Proven track-record in starting up and growing new global businesses in emerging, dynamic and complex high tech domains. Champion of high-tech startups across the globe. Building successful companies is my passion.

Topics: Entrepreneurship & Innovating and networking in an ecosystem

Martine de Visscher
VP of Product Mid-Market at Adyen

Experienced business developer with a demonstrated history of working in the internet industry. Skilled in IT Strategy, API's, IT security, Management and Business Development. Strong data-driven entrepreneurial professional. 

Topics: Career advice & innovating and networking in an ecosystem

Lotte Geertsen
Director TMC Entrepreneurial Lab

I am an optimist who organizes, connects and likes to build bridges. As a business innovation architect, I develop with future-oriented strategies, particularly in the areas of technology, entrepreneurship and creativity. I develop business out of ideas. In addition, I wonder about technology and human interaction, and I believe that people make innovation happen. I like to build ecosystems with stakeholders and work for a better world of tomorrow. 

Topics: Entrepreneurship & leadership

Mechteld Petersen
Marketing and Innovation strategist

I help organizations making impact by creating a value-driven organization. I do this by developing a marketing and innovation vision which is translated into a roadmap with concrete actions and projects: the marketing and innovation strategy. Direction, focus and action! In addition, personal leadership has always fascinated me. How can you get more out of people so that they can become leaders. A leader who makes impact by moving people in the right direction. Each in its own proactive and entrepreneurial way. I have 20 years of experience in the field of Marketing, Branding, Innovation and leadership for companies such as Mars, Brabantia, MaxiCosi / Dorel and Elho in various management positions. 

Topics: Leadership & Innovating and networking in and ecosystem

Bilim Atli-Veltin
Senior Scientist at TNO

Dr. Bilim Atli-Veltin (PhD Penn State, 2009) is Senior Scientist at TNO in the Buildings, Infrastructure and Maritime unit, and Visiting Scientist at TU Delft Aerospace Engineering. Her research interests are next-gen lightweight LNG, LH2 tanks and cryogenic performance of thermoplastics. She is recipient of the “Young Excellent Researcher” award at TNO. She has BSc, MSc and PhD degrees from Aerospace Engineering with specialization in crashworthiness of helicopters. After graduating  from The Pennsylvania State University in the US, she moved to the Netherlands to pursue her carrier. She has been working in the Oil & Gas and Maritime & Offshore domains. She has several journal articles and conference proceedings, and member of national and international technical committees. She is married, and mother of two children. 

Topics: Career advice & How to survive in a male-dominated work environment

Céline van Aalst
Voice & presentation coach

As voice and presentation coach and founder of Your Voice Power, I help ambitious leaders become and stay successful speakers and communicators with my individual, incompany and online trainings. After working at several theatre academy’s, as the famous Theatre School of Performing Arts in Maastricht, I decided to share these experiences with companies. I love to facilitate personal and business growth, by working on a deeper, personal level in the way you speak and present yourself to others. Because you as a personality can make the difference in this technological world! 

Topics: Leadership & Innovating and networking in an ecosystem

Nur America
Strategy advisor, Business Transformation Expert

I am the founder and Director of Newness, a consultancy company. I built extensive business experience in industry on the innovation of high-tech products, multidisciplinary product creation processes until mass production, new business development, and building strategic partnerships with an international scope at large multinational companies. I have expertise on devising and executing business plans, marketing strategy, market and technology driven business model innovation, making IP agreements, and new ways to go-to-market. I have knowledge on digital technologies, artificial intelligence, IoT, blockchain, and communication technologies. My strength is creating business opportunities with innovations deploying these technologies.  

My entrepreneurial mindset, international business experience in the industry, knowledge of market and technology trends, and applying lean methodology to start a new business have been instrumental in mentoring startups at various startup acceleration programs. Furthermore, I am an expert evaluator for the Horizon 2020 program of European Commission. I hold B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in Computer Engineering. 

Topics: Entrepreneurship & work-life balance

Sepideh Khandan Del
Technical Project Lead at SMART Photonics

Sepideh was born in September 1988 in Iran. She studied Materials Engineering at Ferdowsi University of Mashhad and in August 2010 she moved to Stockholm, Sweden to peruse her master studies in Materials Science at KTH-Royal Institute of technology.  Over the past decade, she gained work experience in the USA and Germany in the field of Micro/Nanotechnology in different Research Institutes. 

From 2018 - 2020 she worked at TNO as a senior Process Development Engineer working on state of the art 3D solid state batteries within High Performance batteries group. Sepideh joined SMART Photonics in August 2020 as a Technical project Lead. Smart Photonics is an independent pure-play InP foundry, producing custom design photonic components based in High Tech Campus Eindhoven.

Topics: Work-life as an expat & personal growth

Yolanda van Dinther
Director Software Development at Thermo Fischer Scientific

Yolanda van Dinther is Director Software Development in the Electron Microscopy division of Thermo Fisher Scientific (formerly known as FEI) leading Digital Transformation.

She has been working in various leadership roles since 2001, ranging from software to system development across a variety of high-tech companies in the consumer electronics, healthcare, semiconductors, automotive, life sciences and printing industries.
“I enjoy working with teams of professionals and bringing the organization to the next level, delivering on challenging assignments with a can-do mindset.” 

Yolanda holds a MSc degree in Computer Science from the University of Technology in Eindhoven and a Post Bachelor’s degree in Counseling Psychology.

Topics: Leadership & How to survive in a male-dominated work environment

Madeleen Stamm
Career coach

For nearly 10 years now, Madeleen supported thousands of engineers in their career choices. First as a career coach for MSc, PDEng and PhD at TU Delft, followed by her role as tech recruiter in the Brainport area. As a mom of three and firm believer that ambitious women change lives, her company Sowings is focused on empowering women in the workplace and beyond.  

Topics: Work-life balance & personal growth 

Núria Barceló i Peiró
R&D IT Program Manager at NXP Semiconductors

Broad experience with working in different cultures within the IT industry. Latest positions are related to Identity and Access Management, working in different positions from software consultant to providing consulting services or leading an IAM team for the last past 20 years.

I have previously lived in Barcelona, Buenos Aires, Madrid, near Zurich and finally now in Eindhoven. Thanks to that I can speak, and more important, understand several languages. I'm trying to make workplace more diverse and inclusive, specially to and for women. 

Topics: Innovating and networking in an ecosystem and personal growth

Moyra Mc Manus 
Director of ASML’s Technology Development Center, Europe

Dr. Moyra K. Mc Manus is the Director of ASML’s Technology Development Center, Europe, and is responsible for the company’s pathfinding exploration in patterning at imec where she leads a team of semiconductor industry experts. Her organization is tasked with understanding ASML’s customer’s long term roadmaps: devices, pitches and patterning options; all investigated in order to better understand future lithography and metrology requirements.  

Moyra obtained a Phd in Physics and joined IBM Research in 1998 where she worked for 15 years on developing diagnostics techniques for the debug and characterization of 6 generations of enterprise and high performance processors. She led several multi-functional and cross business teams during the development of the Blue Gene supercomputer, which was ranked #1 in the world in June of 2012. She joined ASML in 2015 and has held positions in strategy and marketing before assuming her role with imec for ASML. Moyra has 6 patents and 30 refereed research articles and continues to be interested in the development of HPC systems and their applications. 

Topics: Career advice & leadership

Vivian de Corti
Experienced marketing professional

With a background in sales & marketing as well as an educational background in business management, I am an experienced marketing professional with a pragmatic approach. Within Reith Laser, I am responsible for the total rebranding project and positioning of the new organization. My Nima C training and previous job experiences are proving to be an ideal luggage to dive into this project. Previous working areas vary from candy and tiles to cigars, desktop electron microscopes and a knowledge center that provides in-depth training and project consulting on various areas of expertise. 

Topics: Innovating and networking in an ecosystem

Helen Kardan
Senior Manager New Business Development at ASML

Helen Kardan received a B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering and M.Sc. in Computer Sciences from Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan. After working for several years in various positions in innovation management and business development in high-tech industries, including Semiconductor and Flexible Electronics, she has joined ASML as part of New Business Development team responsible for identifying new business domains for ASML’s future roadmaps as well as supporting high-tech eco-system and start-ups in the Eindhoven region. 

In all her functions she actively promotes diversity and inclusion as a driving force for collaboration and innovation, supporting initiatives that redefine leadership and new approaches to match the needs of current high tech industry. 

Topics: Leadership & Innovating and networking in an ecosystem

Gareth Thomas 
CEO of VersionBay

Gareth Thomas is one of the Co-Founders of VersionBay with the vision to empower companies to make the most of their software stacks. He is mainly responsible for Business Development, Sales and Marketing. Gareth is very passionate about technology and is fueled by enthusiastic new ideas and thoughts. The decision to start VersionBay is due to his continuous will to embrace change, to adapt and to live life with no regrets. Gareth was born in Johannesburg but has lived in 7 different countries, of which his favorite country was Macau. He loves traveling and exploring new places with different people. One of the most marking moments in his life was when he traveled alone to New York. While walking in the streets of Manhattan he realized that anything would be possible if you really want it.

"Most people are always impressed when I share my story of how and why I started a company. Typically the next step is a personal justification why others haven’t done it. I find myself often trying to explain how the startup world works and I am more than happy to help people break those conceptions about how hard/easy it is to create a company."

Topics: Entrepreneurship & Leadership

Jannie van den Broek
Director of Value, Access and Policy at Amgen

In her 23+ years in the pharmaceutical industry, Jannie has held various roles, at different companies, with increasing responsibility. Started as a sales representative in primary care and moving to specialty care quickly. Then made the step to marketing and strategic positions such as Business Development Manager and Brand Lead. 5 years ago, Jannie was asked to build a solid value strategy for the Dutch affiliate of Amgen, and ever since has been instrumental in driving the transformation of the Dutch affiliate towards a Value Based Healthcare company.   
Jannie holds a Master degree in Movement Sciences from Maastricht University, with additional specialization certificates in (child) rehabilitation from the VU University in Amsterdam. After this scientific training, she worked as a researcher for a short while before switching to business. Her profile is best characterized as a quick thinker with strong analytical skills and a helicopter view separating essentials from side issues, providing focus and direction. She combines a visionary, entrepreneurial attitude with a “can-do” mentality and functions optimally when building vision and strategy, and leading a team to effectuate strategic choices, being successful through and with the team.

Topics: Leadership & career advice

Sonia Kataria
Development engineer at Signify

I love the Netherlands. People are really direct, and I feel very comfortable with that. I was born in India, in a little town called Narnaul. After graduating in Faridabad, I lived for 10 years in Bangalore, where I started working with companies like Philips. Now and then, I visited Eindhoven for work. Because I liked working here, I decided to move here 3 years ago. I didn’t have trouble fitting in, because I had already made friends and they really helped me out.

At Signify, I’m now working as a development engineer in the research department, where we closely work with Signify’s business group Home. You know, those smart home lights. We research what people want, what light settings best suit their needs and how we can bring technological advancements to Lighting. And now I am also making a step from Mobile app development to Cloud development.

Topics: Work-life as an expat & How to survive in a male-dominated work environment 

Folkert Huysinga
Organizational behaviour and change manager, founder of Hearttarget

Owner of Hearttarget.nl & proud partner of Askmepartners.com & HOFP.nl. Doing what I like to do, being encouraged to challenge myself with constant opportunity to develop new skills and deepen those that I already have. I facilitate transformational team workshops. Next to that I offer team & individual development programs and I lead global change programs. As an interim manager I step in teams where temporary management is needed: from project- and event management to procurement and M&A / Post Merger Integration (PMI) management as well as change management processes.

Topics: Leadership & personal growth

Anna Potorska - van de Loo
High Performance Female Coach

I’m a High Performance enthusiast, passionate about coaching and mentoring Female Leaders & Business Owners in HI-TECH and STEM Industry, by encouraging their professional and personal development and strengthening their leadership potential, helping them to find back their energy, enthusiasm to live a life they desire.

In my life I combine my passions for people, science and living joyful life all together.
My fascination about human behaviour, neuroscience (and more life sciences) and art of living consciously, is why I decided to transition from the corporate career after 15 years of managing global transformation projects and programs.

Topics: Career advice & personal growth

Clara Otero Perez
Senior Director of System Innovations at NXP Semiconductors

Clara Otero Pérez is Director Systems Innovations for Automotive at NXP Semiconductor in Eindhoven (NL). She is responsible for scouting new systems and applications where NXP’s products would play a role and build proof of concepts and demonstrators for those new applications such as cooperative connected car, autonomous driving and UAV. 

After graduating in Physics by the University of Santiago de Compostela in Spain, she started to work for Philips Research in Eindhoven (NL) as a research scientist in the field of real-time systems and multimedia processors. In 2006 she moved to NXP and started working on automotive and secure connectivity related projects. In 2008 she became department manager driving innovation activities both internal as well as with partners in subsidy projects in the areas of IoT, connected car and cooperative mobility.

Topics: Personal growth & career advice

Hans Meeske
Founder and managing director of Holland Innovative

The word "cannot" is not in our dictionary, or freely translated: How are we going to solve this together? This is the credo of Hans Meeske.

With a background in mechanical engineering and 15 years' experience in various positions within Philips, Hans started Holland Innovative in 2006. The company is located on the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven, in Enschede and in 2012 expanded into Germany with Holland Innovative GmbH. 

His personal ambition is to bring open innovation into practice, based on openness, honesty and trust, with projects and results that matter! For this purpose he has assembled a team of professionals around him with many years of experience and a strong reputation in various fields of knowledge. For both the employee and the client Hans would like to see: challenging projects, work enjoyment and resounding results.

Topics: Entrepreneurship & innovating and networking in an ecosystem

Kavitha Varathan
Founder & CEO at Expat Spouses Initiative

Kavitha personally experienced career setbacks in the Netherlands as an accompanying spouse, and set-up Expat Spouses Initiative as a grass-roots response to support other international talents. As one of the key drivers who shaped the initiative into the largest international professional network within the Brainport region, she finds energy and purpose in social entrepreneurship. She believes in the opportunity of the local international talent and imagines a new local forged with local partnerships. 

Expat Spouses Initiative (ESI) connects internationals, especially spouses of international knowledge workers to local professional opportunities and accelerates them towards the Dutch Labor market in a community-driven way. For the local business community, ESI is a driver of change specialized in bridging the gap between businesses that need talented, skilled employees and highly-skilled international talent who are dedicated, driven and ready to enter the Dutch labor market.  ESI is currently a thriving community of more than 2000+ international professionals in the Brainport region. 

Topics: Work-life as an expat & innovating and networking in an ecosystem

Beata Wandachowicz-Krason
Director in Supplier Risk Management at Philips

I’m the Director of Procurement Risk Management in Royal Philips, a leading health technology company, currently delivering solutions to fight Covid-19. I’m currently leading Procurement Risk Management program, which received internal Procurement & Supplier Quality Award in 2019 and is shortlisted for World Procurement Award 2020 by Procurement Leaders organization. In my  16 years of experience, I spent half of my career working for Philips in Poland and half in the Netherlands, holding various positions in Finance and Procurement. I led ~2 B Euro Supply Chain Finance program, became a partner for SCF Community in the Netherlands, coordinated research studies on new supply chain financing models, was a numerous speaker and a panelist at SCF Forum in Amsterdam and was a member of the judging panel for inaugural SCF Awards for FinTech and Bank solutions.  

As a genuine leader, I continuously seeks ways to improve processes in complex structures and develop people in multi-layered organizations. I have a lot of passion for innovating new ways of working, being visionary, staying close to breakthrough and disruptive solutions. Personally I’m future-oriented, love to see beyond today. I’m inspired by thought-leaders, futurists and great innovators in different aspects of exponential technology, sociology and psychology. I am a true believer that growth and development happens out of your comfort zone, so staying curious, open-minded and courageous is key to life-long learning and personal success. I am also passionate about Inclusion & Diversity, especially growth and promotion of female role models. I organized the first Philips International Women's Day 2018, engaging 40 locations and 6500 thousand employees across the globe. I’m also a mentor for early career women in Philips, mentor a local Women4Women program in Brainport Eindhoven in the Netherlands. 

Topics: Leadership & personal growth

Jalila Essaïdi
Founder & Managing Director Inspidere and BioArt Laboratories

Jalila Essaïdi is a Dutch artist and entrepreneur based in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. Essaïdi is specialized in the fields of modern biotechnology and biological arts (bio-art). 

She is known for her work ‘2.6g 329m/s’, also known as ‘Bulletproof Skin’, a project that achieved bioengineered bulletproof human skin reinforced with synthetic spider silk. In the IA Special by the Ministry of Economic Affairs about the bio based economy Essaïdi’s project was coined as a prime example of international cooperation. Her more recent project, 'Mestic®', is a bioplastic directly derived from manure. The overarching goal of this solution for the excess manure problem is to create a circular economy with cow manure to generate new sustainable raw materials that can be used by the manufacturing industry.

Essaidi is director of Inspidere B.V., a biotech company based in Brainport region Eindhoven; director of BioArt Laboratories Foundation, a foundation that offers talents access to a creative hybrid laboratory and the tools and knowledge of the life sciences.

Topics: Leadership & Innovating and networking in an ecosystem (creative minds)

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