Conny van den Hoff and Jantina Haan

Female Managers in the men's world of Den Helder's Airport and Maritime Campus Netherlands.

About me

NAME: Conny van den Hoff and Jantina Haan

COUNTRY: The Netherlands

CITY: Den Helder


BACKGROUND: Conny: Master in Higher management, Jantina: University Business School MSc Human Resources Management

ACTION/SECTOR: Industrie, Onderwijs, Maritime, Offshore, Renewable energy

POSITION: Conny: Director Den Helder Airport, Jantina program manager Science Center Wind At Sea of the Maritime Campus the Netherlands.

ORGANIZATION: http://www.denhelderairport.nl/home-nl/, http://www.maritimecampus.nl/, http://kenniscentrumwindopzee.nl/ 


My Background and Career

Conny: Through a job selection, I started 24 years ago at Den Helder Airport. Because of the positive economic climate of the offshore industry, I could have let grown this airport, in a lot of functions. Now I am the director for 7 years. It is a small Schiphol. We transport personnel with mainly helicopters to ships and the oilrig platforms at sea. (By the way: the director of the helicopter company is a woman too.)

Jantina: After my work at a Bank, in a variety of commercial and staff functions and having lived a period as expat with my husband in UK, I was almost sucked back into the financial world, by my curriculum. That was not what I wanted. In the international offshore shipping company I found my new challenge, as manager of 600 people in the crewing department (also foreign employees). This was work in a dynamic and international surrounding. My cup of tea! When the Maritime Campus Netherlands (MCN) needed an experienced project leader I did not hesitate to apply. (By the way the director of MCN is also a woman). I take care of the science centre ‘Wind at Sea’, for innovative renewable energy sources. I am the program manager to bind 4 O’s: 1st O=Education, 2nd O=Research, 3rd O= Entrepreneurs, 4th O= Government. A lot of personnel is needed for construction and maintenance for a.o. the wind turbines. I am looking after the connection of offering the right education programs to the needs of the offshore wind energy industry.

My Experience

From outside we are often asked: ‘how do you manage to work in such a men’s world, being a female manager’? We answer: in a way it is quite normal! Jantina: At the end it adds up to, doing the right things, handling problems carefully and offering solutions. The effect of your acting is more important than who you are.Conny: my colleague directors and board members do like to have a woman at the meeting table. We can have a different view and input.



My Skills

Conny: In a men’s world you have to hold your own ground as a (wo)man. That means in my view: being full of self confidence, with common sense, practical and realistic, combined with empathy. Women often has a different view and perspective. We, most of the time, tend to handle out of the user’s perspective, more than what’s technically possible. Also aspects as decoration, design and colour, add up to the customers satisfaction. With the investments in the new hangars, I have realised a lot of my ambitions. I hope to realise in future, even more employment around Den Helder Airport.

Jantina: I happen to meet a lot of interesting, visionary people, conceivable in our line of work that contains innovative ideas preventing new energy crises. What I like to reach is that we really co-operate for the needs of the Netherlands. Realising, with all stakeholders:    

-1. international standardised education and training programs on every level: from technical crafts to university level.
-2. innovative start-ups in this field and                    
-3. Continuous research with ‘Wind at Sea’ as the facilitating network organisation and science centre for offshore wind energy.


Hints & Tips

• Even if you sometimes doubt, to be able fixing the job, first try it out! You are able doing far more, than you probably think.
• Don’t be afraid to learn. If you want something, dare to invest in yourself!
• Hold your own ground, as a (wo)man.


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