Published: May 02, 2018
Published: May 02, 2018

'Trust Your Intuition and Act on it!'

Ilse Goverts - van Kesteren received her Rainmaker Award for continuous commitment to operational excellence. She is the Manager of the Business Process Improvement at the Architectural Coatings Demand organization and is based in the Netherlands. Her customer centricity has greatly helped PPG AC North to improve and increase customer satisfaction.

Being a Rainmaker is a very honorable title. It is the philosophy behind it that makes it so special! It is a reward for the unwritten achievements I have made during last year.

Always finding new ways to solve problems

Ilse has worked at PPG nearing 10 years now. After completing her PhD in 2008, she started at our company as a Technical Product Manager and three years ago, moved to her current role. Ilse’s career path doesn’t really have a clearly defined vision or end goal.

However, she does see an opportunity in forming a new global department that will enable us to use data analytics in new and creative ways, to better serve customers and internal processes. For three years now, she has focused on improving business processes and finding ways to unravel problems.

I’m very fortunate to have the support and trust of numerous people. This stimulates me to get the best out of myself and the team.

Balancing the work and family life is very important

As well as discussions with Leadership Team members and supporting project leaders, she also participates in the larger regional projects and has coached several interns. Finding a good balance between work life and family life is very important to her.

“Like any working parent, it is difficult to present to the Management Team after a broken night with a child that has the flu or manage important meetings when only working part time. It requires flexibility and PPG is supportive in these situations.”

Trust your intuition and act on it!

Since her participation in the PPG Unlock Your Potential program, Ilse has learnt that sensitivity to a situation is her strongest quality.

If it doesn’t feel right, it is not right, and it needs to be fixed.

Ilse has been working on a European Product Information Management project for a few years now. It’s very challenging due to its complexity, and the amount of stakeholders involved.

But when explaining what it will bring to the business, she gets extremely enthusiastic and that motivates her to continue working on the project. Ilse considers herself lucky that she is able to work with many motivating and clever people at all levels in the organization. She feels thankful to have people around her at our company that know how to relax her and calm her down when she worries too much.

Breaking down the gender stereotypes in technical professions

Ilse is a volunteer for VHTO, the Dutch national expert organization for girls/women and science, that encourages young girls to choose technical educations and careers. She’s conducted coaching sessions with around 60 high school girls and has given lectures at primary schools. She also tries to raise her own children showing equal importance to technical and non-technical topics.

Girls still believe that technical professions are often too difficult for them, even though their marks are similar to the ones of the boys.

This makes her alert in situations at work, where she can sense presumptions about gender differences and feels confident starting a conversation about it, if appropriate. In her free time, Ilse loves to go to the beach in the coastal areas of the Netherlands.

“The colours of the sand dunes and sea are always changing depending on the season and weather. Spending a few hours biking, walking, playing and jumping from the dunes with my children is fantastic!”, she explained.

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