The New Voices Team
Elisabeth Haderer, International Director 2016-2018
In 1999 I was asked to become a member of a mixed club in the North-West of The Netherlands, Haarlem over den Duin. My Lions club keeps me grounded, and I enjoy being with my fellow members, discussing and working together on many projects.
My fellow Lions, without women our association would look very different today. It is only 30 years since women officially joined Lions as members. A brave handful of women, first in 1987, in Ohio. That must have been a shock to many male Lions clubs.
It is so different now. This year our association is led by its first woman president and many women are current or past members of our Board of Directors, Council Chairpersons, District governors, Club officers or Area Leaders.
Looking at my own history, I was a member of JCI first, where I had learned my capabilities, my personality and my competencies. Learning by doing was the motto. Working at IBM as a manager and trainer, I increased many of my competencies and skills. Lions has taught me something else –
to use everything I have to give for the benefit of others. Lions gave me the opportunity to grow my leadership skills to work locally and internationally, and to make many true friends all over the world.
As a woman Lion leader I hope I can create a bridge between men and women, young and old – whatever the assignment is.
I want to inspire young professional women to join our association, and to catch every opportunity they can to enrich their lives. I can only serve as a role model. Service is natural to many women and service to others is so rewarding.
Working side by side – men and women – can make this world a better place for many people.
It starts with you, it starts what you have to give – you will never regret it. I certainly never have.