Are you tough? Are you strict? Where is the champagne that you drink every day? As a fledgling ‘Business woman of the year’, these were some of the questions that I was confronted with during several interviews for newspapers, magazines, radio and television. Especially those first 2 questions are somewhat remarkable, as they say a good deal about the predominantly male interviewers in front of me. Would they ask the same questions to a man? Moreover, I find it quite odd that I only encountered 1 female interviewer so far. There is still much progress to be made in this field. For me personally, a ‘world of men’ has opened up! I run a female-dominated company where 90% of the entire staff is female. Since the 20th of March 2017, I am entitled to hold the honorable title of ‘Business woman of the year’, and this seems to be quite a ‘thing’ for many people. I am rather level-headed, a detail of personality that seems very typical for people who have their roots in the Dutch province of Noord-Holland. As the saying goes over here: ‘with both feet on the ground and hands in the clay’. I do not feel this external pressure; I am still the same Elske. Actually, it is quite remarkable to note that some people in the private sphere suddenly ask questions about me to my husband, while I am standing right next to him in person.
Where is the champagne? This I consider to be a very nice and also a very appropriate question, as one of my personal mottos is: ‘take a sip of champagne every day, as life is too precious and vulnerable to not be celebrated every day’. To be frank, however, I must admit that I am entirely focused on my work during the daytime and for that reason I stick to a nice cup of tea. So my dear male interviewers: the ‘Veuve Clicquot champagne’ is being kept cool at the Jan Doets Rooftop Bar to enjoy during the evening. There is never a dull moment at Jan Doets America Tours; we actually find the dynamism that comes with this momentum very exciting and understandably also very enjoyable!
There will be more soon in regard to my big adventure of this year: having an additional job as ‘Business woman of the year’.
a.k.a. Spirit Bear