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Mentoring and role models – can you see me?


Annemieke Hartman-Jemmett

CoChair RAHM Leadership Council

Role models are important; regardless of who we are. To develop into leadership positions, it is important for young people to see themselves represented in day-to-day life. Now that social media is taking such a prominent position in everyone’s life, we have a great opportunity to get purposeful engagement early. The problem with social media however is that most of the interaction is taking place remotely and it is often “nameless”.

As we are growing up, we may recognise the importance of role models consciously or not. Most probably though, we can list quite a few of them for different reasons in retrospect.  For me, the availability of role models was few and far between when I was growing up. I didn’t see “me”, I couldn’t see myself in another person, nor find that someone could be like me.

Of course, there are people in public life that had “made it”. Think popstars, entertainers, business or sports people. But the connection of these people to me personally, was not an easy link to make. So, I set about creating the opportunities by myself for me. I had to see myself. I have done ok, and now there is an opportunity to support others through my learning. This comes however with a trade-off. It impacts my ability to be, and stay, anonymous.

Knowing what I know now, being in the public eye, is a small price to pay to support others in achieving their potential. It is much broader than being LGBTIQ+, being female, a dual national, a sibling, an entrepreneur, a world citizen, an innovator, an author, a wife, a coach and a mentor and more, much more.

In 2017, I was asked by the UHLALA Group if I would consider being  a jury member of the first RAHM Leadership Contest in Berlin.  Admittedly, I was quite embarrassed at the time to say that I had to think about “joining in” being visible, in actual fact, embarrassed about being me. Sure, I was “out and open” to all of my direct social circle, work and all contacts, but to actively go and participate in a group activity of likeminded people for what? – was it really necessary?  Of course, it was! , now I think – what was I thinking!

The RAHM Contest experience was a fantastic eye-opening event for me. I met so many people from diverse backgrounds, many of whom, I am still in contact with today! The event gave me visibility, made me self-aware. By listening to others and their stories, I heard my own story becoming sharper and more vivid. My life was becoming more vibrant.

Not long after the first event, the UHLALA Group approached me again, if I would be interested in committing several hours to the first RAHM community learning initiative as a coach and mentor to future professionals. Based on my first RAHM experience, I decided that I would like to keep on this path of self-discovery and that this was an opportunity to test my own boundaries and I agreed. It was soon into the mentoring, that I noticed how astounding the feedback I continued to receive was during my involvement and was amazed how uplifting the experience was, feeling that my energy was replenished.  At the same time, through being involved, I not only had the opportunity to impact and change other people’s lives but to also grow myself. Why would I not take that opportunity with both hands and expand my reach every single day?

Earlier this year, again the UHLALA Group are tapping me, this time with a request that I accept the appointment to be the Co-Chair of the first RAHM Leadership Council aimed at moving the community into more action and results in shaping the future LGBTIQ+ leaders and this time with Allies included. I didn’t need to think long and within weeks, I was surrounded by 20 leaders in their own right – 18 different nationalities from Australia to Zagreb, Canada to Costa Rica, New York to New Delhi via Nairobi. It is truly a unique opportunity and an honour to be guiding their work and tapping into their leadership attributes to foster LGBTIQ+ leadership. It is a magnificent project with magnificent role models.

So now, in life, work life and social life, I take every opportunity to “give back” as I know it will come back and this manifests itself in many different ways. The main focus however is to share my experience of life and my learnings authentically.  And this can only be done by staying visible and doing more of what initially is slightly out of one’s comfort zone; the impact on others is so significant – so they tell me – that there is no going back.

And of course, I am not the only one. We require more of us to stand up, be proud and visible whilst sharing our lives sufficiently, so that other people resonate with you, see you and perhaps see themselves in you rather that being enthused by anonymous  engagement only on social media. In real life, real people engage properly through real conversations with real people. I am more than ready to take the lead to show myself and the real me and to be visible with all my perfect imperfections and expose my vulnerability, if you are also willing to join me and quietly shake the world for LGBTIQ+ future leaders.

Annemieke Hartmann-Jemmet is Co-chair of the inaugural RAHM Leadership Council and is a highly successful corporate executive, business author and dedicated change for good agent. Annemieke inspires and motivates others through her professional authenticity, rational focus and sharp decision making. She sets the bar high for herself whilst enabling others to reach theirs.

Annemieke would like to invite you to join the RAHMentoring program which will launched shortly. If you are interested, please send an email to hello@rahm,ceo. Annemieke would like to explicitly encourage lesbian and queer women, BIPOC as well as inter, trans and non-binary individuals and calls on them to apply for the mentoring program and to also invite others that are here described to do the same.

 The UHLALA Group welcomes and proudly embraces all kinds of diversity in all its manifestations. We actively develop and support a diverse community through our RAHM initiative, where all people are treated with dignity and respect. We do not tolerate any form of discrimination based on age, colour, disability, gender identity and expression, national origin, race and ethnicity, religious beliefs or lack thereof, sexual orientation, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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