Family or Career? Blue Yonder’s Sandra Lelieveld Says You Can Have It All
In today’s DIVE In blog Sandra Lelieveld, Sales Director at Blue Yonder, explores what it takes to be a ‘Fearless Female’ in the supply chain industry. Sandra has over 15 years of experience in sales management. She offers insight into the obstacles she has faced and how believing in oneself is the most vital ingredient for success.
What do you think are the biggest obstacles to reaching a diversified workplace?
I think the biggest obstacles can be ourselves. On one hand, we sometimes get in our heads too much, asking, “Can I really do this?” And on the other hand, women can be tough on one another. We should encourage each other to step up, not put each other down with questions like, “When you work full-time, why do you have kids?” We should feel privileged that as women we can have it all, if we choose to. Looking at the question again and relating this to Blue Yonder, personally, I have only had a great experience at Blue Yonder. I feel very much supported. I was recently promoted to Sales Director and joined the senior leadership team. From both our EMEA Director, Johan Reventberg, and our Manufacturing Director, Phillip Teschemacher, I get nothing but support to grow and fulfill my potential.
How did you overcome this mentality of putting yourself down?
Simply understanding that it is a mindset. Just be you. Just do it. I have done it; I have been working since I was 26 years old and with two children. Be yourself, believe in yourself and go after the things you want to do.
Looking back at your career, is there anything you would have done differently to accelerate acceptance and inclusion?
Looking back, I did feel that I might not be good enough — juggling my time being a mom of two kids and working full-time. But now I know that was all in my head. I have never had a remark or a bad experience that showed I was not supposed to be there. I never felt that there was any lack of acceptance and inclusion. I am sure that there are examples, don´t get me wrong, but I was the only one holding back on the acceleration. Know that you are the CEO of your career.
What advice would you like to share with other women out there that might help them reach their goals and become boundary pushers themselves?
Think in possibilities. Yes, you can do it. Believe in yourself, you don’t have to make a choice. I had a couple of female connections ask me, “What should I do? I want to grow my career but also become a mother.” You don’t have to choose. You can do both. You are limiting yourself. Be a woman and be proud. We are different. Yes, we are equal but not the same. And that is beautiful. That is why diversity makes the workplace more fun, more vibrant. It is a privilege as human beings to choose what we want to do in our lives.
What did you do to stand out in this industry?
I had a chat with our EMEA President, who said something really nice, pointing out my success of being a Customer Executive. He praised me for being true to myself. And he said he hopes I stay this way. My character in and out of work doesn’t differ — I am always myself.
Watch Blue Yonder’s recent LinkedIn Live session with Sandra Lelieveld.