On 1 April 2023, Choy van der Hooft-Cheong is taking over from Mariëtte Turkenburg as Chair of the board of Stichting Talent naar de Top (Talent to the Top Foundation). On the same date, Ara Heuvel will take office as the new director.
Choy van der Hooft-Cheong, Chief Commercial Officer Wealth Management at ABN AMRO: “Equal opportunities for all is a key driver at ABN AMRO. I believe everyone is entitled to the same opportunities, regardless of background, beliefs or preferences. At the top, too, it’s important that everyone feels seen, heard and valued. As Chair of the board at Talent naar de Top I’m looking forward to actively promoting inclusiveness in the highest levels of the corporate world.”
Ara Heuvel is a former professional footballer. His interest in politics later led him to head the list of candidates for the Dutch Labour Party, PvdA, in Amsterdam Zuidoost. He also has experience as a strategic advisor and entrepreneur. Ara: “I have no problem with wealth, but with poverty. Sometimes, creating equal opportunities means investing unequally so we’re all starting on the same level.”
Under the joint leadership of Yelly Weidenaar and Mariëtte Turkenburg, many important milestones have already been achieved. Since 2008, a target percentage has been encouraging companies to increase the proportion of women on boards. In 2019, cultural diversity was added and incorporated in the cross-company annual programmes focused on mentoring and sponsorship. And the impact – sustainable organisational change among clients – has been solidified with strategic advice and in-house training. The network of members that have signed up, known as the “vanguard”, now consists of 200+ companies that are performing demonstrably better than non-members. The Talent naar de Top method was adopted by Dutch law in 2022.
Talent naar de Top has blossomed into a leading organisation with a wide range of services helping companies from A to Z in their journey to inclusion. The foundation has a proven track record of not just putting boardroom diversity and inclusion on the agenda of the business world, but actually improving them too.
The news of the management and board change was festively announced during the annual Summit Breakfast on International Women’s Day. Traditionally, this recurring event takes place on International Women’s Day at The Grand in Amsterdam, this year attended by Robbert Dijkgraaf, Dutch Minister of Education, Culture and Science, and Karien van Gennip, Minister of Social Affairs and Employment.