Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship launches the SHE LEADS Dashboard

14 January 2022

The world has faced unprecedented challenges over the past few years: from economic downturn to geopolitical conflict, from a global pandemic to the climate crisis. At the same time, there are signs of unprecedented resilience with the rise of innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing problems thanks to the efforts of influential entrepreneurs and leaders across the globe.

One of the global challenges that is being addressed is the gender gap. According to World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Index for 2021[1], gender parity is at 68%. This is a step back compared to 2020 as we experience an increase in inequality between men and women. At this rate, it could take up to 136 years to eliminate the worldwide gender gap. Western Europe stands out as a global leader when it comes to gender equality. At the current relative pace, the gender gap here can potentially be closed in 52 years.

Nevertheless, women are argued to be the largest untapped entrepreneurial and leadership potential in Europe due to the low levels of representation in entrepreneurship and leadership.[2] In the technology domain, for instance, the number of female tech founders in Europe remains under 15% while an average of 25% of tech jobs are held by women.[3] Research indicates that young female leaders and entrepreneurs are faced with a wide range of challenges that they feel inhibit their ability to lead and grow their businesses effectively. This ranges from lack of self-confidence to discrimination, bias and negative stereotyping.[4] One way in which we can bridge this gender gap and empower female entrepreneurship in the ecosystem is to enable the next generation of female entrepreneurs and leaders to learn from successful role models.[5]

As the very first edition of the SHE LEADS Dashboard, this publication aims to serve as an inspiration for future leaders and entrepreneurs by providing exposure to a range of remarkable female role models in the Netherlands. The purpose of this dashboard is to encourage the next generation of female entrepreneurs and leaders to take the next step and achieve their growth ambitions. This is the first of many publications to ensure that empowering female entrepreneurship and leadership stays high on the agenda. This dashboard specifically highlights 50 inspirational women who are a force to be reckoned with, who fall under the categories Serial Entrepreneurship, Scaling Up, Social Impact, Digital Transformation and Science. Later publications will provide quantitative insights and dive deeper into the experiences of these women by sharing the stories behind their success.

We hope that you enjoy reading our inaugural SHE LEADS Dashboard 2022 that celebrates female entrepreneurs and leaders of today and inspires those of tomorrow.

Download SHE LEADS Dashboard 2022 (PDF)

For more information about SHE LEADS, check out or send us an email via





[4]  Fleck, E. (2015). To grow or not to grow: challenges or choices for female entrepreneurs?. The Journal of Business Diversity, 15(2);27-45.

McEldowney, R. P., Bobrowski, P., & Gramberg, A. (2009). Factors affecting the next generation of women leaders: Mapping the challenges, antecedents, and consequences of effective leadership. Journal of Leadership Studies3(2), 24-30.

[5] Bechthold, L. A., & Rosendahl Huber, L. (2018, July). Yes, I can!–A field experiment on female role model effects in entrepreneurship. In Academy of Management Proceedings (Vol. 2018, No. 1, p. 12081). Briarcliff Manor, NY 10510: Academy of Management.

Byrne, J., Fattoum, S., & Diaz Garcia, M. C. (2019). Role models and women entrepreneurs: Entrepreneurial superwoman has her say. Journal of Small Business Management, 57(1), 154-184.

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