International Day of The Girl

International Day of The Girl

International Day of The Girl

Did you know that there has been little overall progress on gender equality at the global level between 2015 and 2020? According to the World Economic Forum it will take another 131 years to achieve it. Did you know that The Netherlands ranks 25th out of the 27 EU countries in the representation of women in management positions?

In partnership with Plan International, we will launch The International Day of The Girl campaign on 11 October. 

All around the world, girls and young women are discriminated against, just because they are girls. On the International Day of The Girl, girls claim their space — girls with a mission, girls that raise their voices and lead the way. Together we fight for equal rights and opportunities. Can we count on your support? Will your organization join us? 

Girls and young women can change the world when they get the chance. Show that you support equal opportunities for girls and (young) women. Amplifying our messages, organizing a Girl Takeover, and committing to the Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs). 

Photo credits header: Ilvy Njiokiktjien/Plan International



Share our messages on your personal and company’s social media channels to spread awareness. 

Girl Takeover

Organize a Girl Takeover within your company to give young women the opportunity to take over the role of business leaders for a day. 


Show that your company’s commitment to gender equality goes beyond 11 October by signing the Women’s Empowerment Principles.

Want to learn more? Register for the virtual information session on Tuesday, 3 October from 10:00-11:00. The session is free and open for everyone. 

Amplify the message on social media

Share our messages on your personal and company’s social media channels. Please tag us in your messages and use the campaign hashtags.


LinkedIn: @Plan-Nederland & @UN-Global-Compact-Network-Netherlands 

Instagram: @PlanInternationalNL & @GlobalCompactNL

X/Twitter: @PlanNederland & @GlobalCompactNL


#DayOfTheGirl #IDG2023 #UnitingBusiness #GirlTheWorld 


of women in the Netherlands depend financially on a partner or the government


Only 13% of Dutch companies publish information about equal pay


of women in the Netherlands experience pregnancy discrimination at work

Girl Takeover

The global #GirlTakeover is a call to action for radical social and political change to tear down barriers of discrimination and prejudice that continue to hold girls and (young) women back.

Young women step into the roles of leaders for a day to draw attention to the fact that they should have the chance to decide over their own life and the world they live in. And they demonstrate that – when given the chance – they can become whatever they want to be. They advocate for equal opportunity and representation of girls and (young) women.

Selection of companies that has participated


The Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEPs) are a set of seven principles offering guidance to businesses on how to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment in the workplace, marketplace, and community.

These principles were established by the UN Global Compact and UN Women and are informed by international labour and human rights standards. The principles are grounded in the recognition that businesses have a stake in, and responsibility for, gender equality and women’s empowerment.

WEPs are a primary vehicle for corporate delivery on gender equality dimensions of the 2030 agenda and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Receive more information

Jamie Holton

Sr. Programme Manager Business & Human Rights and Gender Equality

Contact person for the International Day of The Girl campaign 

Vacancy: Programme Manager

Vacancy: Programme Manager

Vacancy: Programme Manager

Position title: (Sr.) Programme Manager

Location: The Hague, The Netherlands



We are looking for a driven and experienced, sustainability professional to join our team in the role of Programme Manager. A strategic thinker and a pragmatic “do-er” who can help to strengthen and amplify the UN Global Compact in The Netherlands and increase its impact.

The UN Global Compact Network Netherlands is a multi-stakeholder initiative connecting companies in the Netherlands to the United Nations Global Compact, the world’s largest responsible business initiative. Our mission is to promote corporate sustainability leadership to create a world we want to live and do business in, by inspiring ambition, enabling action, and collaborating to shape the business environment. There are over 300 organizations participating in our Network and we are growing rapidly.

The Programme Manager (PM) leads UN Global Compact Network Netherlands’ (UN GCNL) workstreams on corporate climate action, the SDGs, and sustainable finance, ensuring that all its activities deliver on the UN GCNL’s Strategic Pillars and Aims. They will (co-)design, implement, and manage projects, programmes, and campaigns. They liaise with key external stakeholders on these topics. The PM reports directly to the Executive Director.

This is an exciting opportunity for someone keen to join a growing purpose-led global organization related to the United Nations, working to make a difference both globally and locally.



  • Overarching responsibility for programmatic activities on climate action, including:
    • The Climate Ambition Accelerator
    • Our local Climate Action peer-learning group
    • Organizing CEO events to boost SBTi commitments by companies in the Netherlands
    • Active contribution to the UN Global Compact’s Climate and Environment Local Network Working Group
    • Co-organizing the annual European Climate Action peer-learning conference
  • Overarching responsibility for programmatic activities on SDGs, including:
  • Overarching responsibility for programmatic activities on Sustainable Finance, including:
    • Organizing activities to boost the number of our participants participating in the CFO Coalition for the SDGs
    • The Sustainable Finance Accelerator (to be confirmed)
  • Liaising with (potential) strategic partners, such as other local networks of the UN Global Compact, business associations, the Dutch Government, research and academic institutes, and relevant civil society organizations.
  • Speaking and presenting on relevant sustainability topics at external events on behalf of the Network.
  • Interact with the Global Office in New York on global developments both on topics as on the development of the Network worldwide
  • Support colleagues and activities of the UN Global Compact Network Netherlands or additional projects, as assigned.



  • At least 3 years’ professional working experience on corporate sustainability
  • Demonstrable knowledge on at least one of the subject matters and willingness to develop the other topics: corporate climate action, the SDGs, sustainable finance
  • Professional working experience in a company is preferred.
  • Demonstrated initiative and ability to work independently but equally comfortable working in a diverse team environment and often under deadline pressure
  • Excellent oral and written communication both in Dutch and English, interpersonal and collaborative skills.
  • An international outlook and mindset



  • Team player: You can work both autonomously and as a reliable and collaborative teammate.
  • Communication: Strong communication skills, including outstanding written and spoken English language skills. Ability to connect business questions and challenges to the UN Global Compact knowledge and programmes. Demonstrates openness in sharing information and keeping people informed
  • Structured & Organized: You are capable of managing multiple projects and workflows simultaneously, without losing an eye for detail.
  • Self-motivated and proactive: You enjoy rolling up your sleeves and getting things done, you identify opportunities
  • Impact driven: You know the key sustainability trends and topics and you are eager to personally contribute to the SDGs and UN Global Compact’s mission
  • Networker: You thrive in non-hierarchical organizations and you build constructive relationships easily – both with our international colleagues and with our participants and external stakeholders.
  • Respect for Diversity: Works effectively with people from all backgrounds; treats all people with dignity and respect.



  • The possibility to work part-time (30 -37,5 hrs) with flexible working hours ensuring a healthy work-life balance
  • Salary depending on relevant experience (40-55 k EUR full time, including 13th-month payment and 8% holiday allowance)
  • Flexible work arrangements
  • Working with passionate colleagues in The Netherlands, and across the world
  • Collaboration with sustainability champions in a range of industries and sectors
  • Working for the world’s largest corporate sustainability initiative
  • Monthly contributions towards health and wellbeing, mobile and commuting to the office
  • Our inspiring new office is in the Malietoren in The Hague next to CS station and parks.

UN Global Compact Network Netherlands believes an inclusive work environment and a diverse, empowered team are key to achieving our mission. We foster an environment where all staff can bring their whole selves to work, by their own definition, and are looking for candidates who contribute to our diverse team.


Please apply by sending a cover letter and CV that address the position summary, competencies and requirements, to the Executive Director, Merei Wagenaar ( by Friday, 22 September 2023. Sending in your application earlier is encouraged. Interviews will be held on Friday, 29 September and Thursday, 5 October.

More info: please email or

UN Global Compact Network Netherlands calls on businesses to join the Business & Human Rights Accelerator. Increase business action on human rights by joining

UN Global Compact Network Netherlands calls on businesses to join the Business & Human Rights Accelerator. Increase business action on human rights by joining

UN Global Compact Network Netherlands calls on businesses to join the Business & Human Rights Accelerator. Increase business action on human rights by joining

Programme helps companies move from commitment to action on human rights and laboro rights


The Hague, 8 September 2023 – The UN Global Compact Network Netherlands has launched the second edition of the Business & Human Rights Accelerator. After the huge success of the first edition with 62 participants. The collaboration with SER is prolonged in this six-month learning programme equipping companies with the tools and knowledge needed to establish a lasting impact on human rights. 

The Business & Human Rights Accelerator will help your company understand when, where and how business impacts human rights. Learn how to prioritize the most salient issues for action while identifying the most appropriate measures to mitigate risks, track the effectiveness of your efforts and communicate effectively to stakeholders about your company’s progress. Such a robust corporate human rights due diligence process shifts companies from a “risks to business” to a “risks to people” approach.

 “Businesses can have a significant influence on human rights for the better. This accelerator programme helps your company to have an impact on people’s lives around the world starting with employees, but also contract workers, and people in your supply chain. We are halfway in our journey to 2030, and to achieve the SDG goals extra efforts are needed to improve human rights. Join the programme to connect with peers and learn from each other to accelerate together.” – Merei Wagenaar, Executive Director, UN Global Compact Network Netherlands

Assessments by benchmark and ranking initiatives highlight that the majority of companies do not demonstrate practices that meet the requirements set by the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. This may indicate that risks to workers and communities are not managed adequately despite growing awareness and commitments. Almost half (46.2%) of the biggest companies in the world failed to show any evidence of mitigating human rights issues in their supply chains. 

By joining the Business & Human Rights Accelerator, you receive an assessment of your company’s actual and potential adverse human rights impacts. You will also build an action plan so they can return to work to put their learnings into practice to drive change. Lastly, you’ll build an invaluable network of peers, UN partners and experts that will inspire you to shape your company’s human rights journey and advance a global movement.

This accelerator aims to engage 450 companies of all sizes across industries in more than 30 countries. In The Netherlands, we will be supported by our trusted partner the Social and Economic Council (SER). Read more about the programme at


UN Global Compact Network Netherlands

Jamie Holton

Sr. Program Manager


Julie Hemels – Hoff

Communications Advisor

Ambitious force to empower climate action

Ambitious force to empower climate action

Determined force to empower climate battle

In a world where the urgency of sustainable development is becoming increasingly evident, leaders are emerging from various sectors to champion transformative change. Simon Henzell-Thomas has taken on a new role that underlines his commitment to driving impactful change. We are pleased to introduce Simon Henzell-Thomas as a newly appointed Board Member of the UN Global Compact Network Netherlands.


Visionary leadership

Simon Henzell-Thomas is no stranger to the forefront of sustainable action. With a robust background at IKEA, the globally renowned Swedish home furnishing company, he is now playing an important role in shaping the company’s climate and nature agenda. At IKEA, the vision is clear: to create a better everyday life for people around the world. Simon’s role at Ingka Group, the largest IKEA franchisee, places him at the centre of the climate and nature agenda, driving ambitious goals for 2030 and 2050.


Collaboration for global influence

The motivation behind IKEA’s engagement with the UN Global Compact stems from a recognition of the complex challenges facing the world today. Simon Henzell-Thomas acknowledges the necessity of collaboration across sectors to effect rapid and meaningful change. Multinational businesses like IKEA recognize the potential of working alongside governments and the private sector to accelerate action toward the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“Challenges such as climate change, nature loss and inequality require all businesses to step up and also to collaborate across complex systems to make change happen fast.”

Aligning with the SDGs at every turn

IKEA’s commitment to making a positive impact aligns seamlessly with many of the SDGs. Simon Henzell-Thomas highlights the resonating connection between IKEA’s sustainability strategy, “People & Planet Positive,” and key SDGs. Notably, Goal 13 (Climate Action) and Goal 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy) stand out due to IKEA’s immense responsibility to combat climate change and its dedication to becoming climate-positive by 2030.

Simon emphasizes that a just transition is vital to IKEA’s approach, ensuring that climate action goes hand in hand with addressing inequality and supporting communities. IKEA continues to pioneer innovative ways to achieve these goals within its operations.


Personal commitment, collective change

Simon Henzell-Thomas’ dedication extends beyond the professional realm. He practices what he preaches, making conscious choices in his personal life that reflect his commitment to the SDGs. His adoption of a flexitarian diet, prioritizing plant-based meals and sustainable protein sources, and his preference for eco-friendly transportation are testament to his belief that individual actions ripple into collective impact.

“We are in a situation where we need to spend less time on the ‘why’ and more time on the ‘how.’ Businesses need less evangelists and more solutionists.”

Steering towards a brighter future

Simon Henzell-Thomas’ decision to join the UN Global Compact Network Netherlands’ board was driven by his unwavering passion for the organization’s mission and values. As a seasoned leader, he brings a wealth of experience in public affairs and partnerships to the table. His approach is rooted in listening, understanding challenges, and fostering collaborations that drive positive change.


A message of guidance and hope

For organizations and young professionals seeking to integrate the SDGs into their business and personal lives, Simon Henzell-Thomas offers invaluable advice. He emphasizes the need to shift focus from “why” to “how,” channelling energy into actionable solutions. He advocates for a collaborative approach that bridges differences and avoids negativity, reminding us that the power to shape the future lies within our grasp.

In the journey toward a sustainable world, Simon Henzell-Thomas emerges as a beacon of hope and action. His role as a Board Member of the UN Global Compact Network Netherlands promises to catalyze transformative change, both within organizations and at the individual level. Through his leadership, commitment, and forward-thinking approach, Simon paves the way for a brighter and more sustainable future for all.

Simon Henzell-Thomas

Simon Henzell-Thomas

Global Director Climate & Nature, IKEA (Ingka Group)

Sustainable Leadership in education and society

Sustainable Leadership in education and society

Sustainable Leadership in education and society 

An interview with Dr Jessica van Wingerden from Dyade

Dr Jessica van Wingerden, Executive Director/CEO of Dyade, shares her vision on sustainability in education and Dyade’s role in promoting quality education, inclusion, and participation. Operating in the Netherlands for over 350 years, Dyade has a strong focus on leadership development, strategic organizational and HR advice, and support for business operations. Dyade aims to create a lasting impact on its employees, customers, and society.


The podcast ‘Sustainable Leadership’ 

Dyade is soon launching the podcast ‘Sustainable Leadership,’ where leaders and professionals explore the world of sustainable leadership together. The podcast aims to inspire and provide insights into the strategies and best practices of leaders at the forefront of sustainability. Guests will discuss how they contribute to various aspects of sustainability and align with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Our Executive Director, Merei Wagenaar, will also be a guest in one of the episodes.


Driving positive change together 

In 2022, Dyade joined the UN Global Compact to showcase their commitment to sustainability to its employees, customers, and stakeholders. The organization aims to inspire others to embrace the SDGs and join the UN Global Compact, working collectively to achieve a positive impact.

“If everyone contributes that extra bit from their talents to the SDGs, together, we can achieve so much more.”

Impact through Dyade 

Dyade primarily focuses on SDGs 3 (Well-being), 4 (Quality education), 5 (Gender equality), 10 (Reducing inequality), 13 (Climate action), and 17 (Partnerships for the goals). These goals closely align with Dyade’s DNA. They reflect what the organization concretely does, both internally as for its customers and society.


Dedication for sustainability 

In addition to her work at Dyade, Jessica is actively involved in promoting equal opportunities, diversity, and inclusion in her private life. She serves as a commissioner at the housing corporation Hef Wonen in Rotterdam and is a member of the General Board at the Foundation for Public Education in Rotterdam (BOOR), both focused on enhancing equal opportunities for everyone in the city. In her private life, she consciously engages in sustainability by choosing local and natural consumption and practicing conscious consumerism to reduce her ecological footprint.

“Small steps make a big difference. Translate big dreams and goals into small concrete steps. You will find them easier to realize.”

Ambitions for UN Global Compact Network Netherlands 

As a Board Member, Jessica aims to actively contribute to the growth, development, and visibility of the UN Global Compact Network Netherlands. She will utilize her network, knowledge, and experience to inspire leaders to engage with sustainability goals. Additionally, she wants to showcase the essential role that SMEs can play in achieving these objectives.

Quality over quantity 

Jessica advises organizations and young professionals to prioritize quality over quantity when embracing the SDGs. It is crucial to create concrete action plans and take small steps to make goals more achievable. She also emphasizes the importance of authenticity and focus, allowing organizations to identify with sustainability initiatives like the UN Global Compact, promoting inclusivity and creating a visible positive impact.

The interview with Jessica showcases her passion and dedication to sustainable leadership. Dyade’s commitment to quality education and sustainability is evident through its focus on relevant SDGs. Jessica’s involvement with the UN Global Compact and her pursuit of inclusivity and positive impact reflect Dyade’s core values and her mission to contribute to a better society.

Dr Jessica van Wingerden

Dr Jessica van Wingerden

Director / CEO, Dyade

Using entertainment to drive impactful change at WaterBear

Using entertainment to drive impactful change at WaterBear

Using entertainment to drive impactful change at WaterBear

Poppy Mason-Watts, Chief Growth and Impact Officer at WaterBear, is dedicated to leveraging the power of entertainment to inspire positive action. WaterBear is a leading free streaming platform and publisher that offers a wide array of award-winning and sustainably certified films. By encouraging viewers to shift away from mindless scrolling and engage with thought-provoking content, WaterBear aims to address environmental and humanitarian issues. With a strong focus on collaboration and impact, Poppy, along with the dedicated team at WaterBear, strives to make a tangible difference in the world. In this interview, Poppy shares insights about WaterBear’s mission, joining the UN Global Compact, their impact on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and personal commitments to sustainability and human rights.

Inspiring action through entertainment 

As part of the founding team and a company director, Poppy Mason-Watts holds the role of Chief Growth and Impact Officer at WaterBear. Her responsibilities encompass driving impact through productions and partnerships, ensuring brand partners prioritize impactful marketing and content production, formulating growth strategies for the platform, and engaging a global audience in conscious thinking. Despite the challenges that come with the role, Poppy is driven by her passion for making the world a better place and utilizing the power of film and entertainment as catalysts for change.

Motivation and alignment 

WaterBear firmly believes in the power of radical collaboration for good, bringing together NGOs, brands, philanthropists, filmmakers, and Fortune 500 companies. Recognizing that brands and businesses hold significant trust among Gen Zs and millennials, WaterBear actively collaborates with them to drive meaningful change. Joining the UN Global Compact, an organization with an extensive network of businesses that share a commitment to driving positive impact, was a natural alignment for WaterBear’s mission and values.

“I go to work wanting to make the world a better home, using entertainment and film as a lever to drive change – what more could you really want in a role?”

Impact across the SDGs: Stories as tools for change 

WaterBear aims to effect change across all the SDGs by utilizing stories as powerful tools. Their films and campaigns cover a diverse range of topics, including biodiversity conservation, climate change, human rights, and more. Since its launch a few years ago, WaterBear has prioritized impact at every level of its operations. From launching impactful campaigns aligned with film releases to measuring the tangible effects of films and campaigns, WaterBear embeds ethical and sustainable practices throughout the organization. The entire team at WaterBear shares a common goal of making a difference, and every initiative is designed to foster collaboration and drive progress towards the SDGs.

Personal commitment to SDGs: Fast fashion and human rights 

For Poppy, SDG 10 (Reduced Inequalities) and SDG 12 (Responsible Consumption and Production) hold significant importance. She is particularly passionate about addressing issues related to fast fashion and human rights. Inspired by friends who work in the slow fashion industry, Poppy strives to make sustainable choices, such as reducing waste, supporting second-hand brands, and purchasing from small brands owned by friends. WaterBear has recently initiated a partnership with the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, focusing on promoting circularity as a cultural concept. Additionally, Poppy’s strong commitment to human rights led her to embark on a swimming challenge across the English Channel to raise awareness and funds for the ongoing migrant crossing disasters.

“Don’t give up – if you face challenges making a change in your organization, find another way. Small steps are key – find your sword, the one thing your brand feels comfortable championing.”

Joining the UN Global Compact Network Netherlands’ Board: learning and collaboration

Poppy’s decision to join the UN Global Compact Network Netherlands’ board stemmed from her desire to learn from individuals and businesses actively driving positive change. Drawing from her extensive experience in media, entertainment, and marketing, Poppy aims to bring a fresh perspective to the board. She recognizes the pivotal role that stories play in transforming mindsets and uniting communities and looks forward to exploring how the UN Global Compact’s work can be amplified through powerful storytelling, empowering businesses to embrace sustainable practices.

Integrate the SDGs into your business and personal live

Poppy offers valuable advice to organizations and young professionals seeking to integrate the SDGs into their endeavours. She emphasizes the importance of persistence and finding alternative routes when faced with challenges. Small steps are key, and it is crucial to identify the one cause or initiative that aligns closely with one’s brand values. Poppy underscores the significance of storytelling, highlighting that audiences are more engaged by compelling narratives that champion underrepresented stories and reflect the genuine commitment of businesses to their sustainability goals.

Poppy Mason-Watts

Poppy Mason-Watts

Chief Growth en Impact Officer, WaterBear

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