To kick-off the revamped SheSays Amsterdam chapter, we’ve brought back an old favourite of ours. In our Pass it On feature, you’ll hear from a range of kick-ass woman from across the industry. This month, it’s Nadine Ridder – a freelance strategist in Amsterdam.

Nadine isn’t one to be easily swayed. Her opinions on diversity, equality and millennials landed her spreads in several publications so far, including MarketingTribune, Emerce and It comes as no surprise, after three years at VICE, she became quite the millennial expert. When she’s not busy commenting on her generation, we often spot her waving the flag for diversity and equality within media and advertising, both online and off.


1: If you could give your younger self career advice, what would it be?

My advice would be: you can’t and you don’t have to fix everything. I learned to focus on what is really important and to do that extremely well and let other things go. When I was younger it was difficult for me to understand how far my responsibility reached and therefore the balance between my influence and involvement was really off. Like all lessons in life, I learned this the hard way which is fine, but it would have helped me to know this a little sooner.


2: What was your ‘light bulb’ moment when you realised that being a woman in your role made a difference?

Luckily all my employers have been very supportive of strong women who stand out, but when I started working as a freelance strategist I discovered not everyone likes women in strategic roles. I can’t pick one of the following three situations: a man on a freelance team didn’t want to work with me as I would get paid the most. One man who interviewed me literally compared me to himself all the time and basically said “I’m looking for someone like me” which I’m obviously not, and one man who I was pitching to decided to ask questions and provide feedback to my male partner, while I was presenting the entire strategy. Unfortunately I am constantly reminded of the fact that I am a woman in a role which predominantly is filled by men.


3: What pisses you off at the moment?

That we don’t seem to learn from history. People who feel that it is their right to tell innocent people who are in need and have lost everything that they are not welcome in our safe countries. I can see this is a result of their own misery or frustration or disappointment, but I will never understand how a person can become that cold.


4: How do you make sure you stay on top of your game?

Reading, writing, watching talks online, attending events, traveling, observing people in the street, discussing with friends, contacting people I think I can learn from, talking to people who want to learn from me, being in nature, being in silence, doing things that seem uninteresting to me. Did I mention reading?


5: If we want to ‘accidentally’ bump into you on a Friday night, where should we go?

It really depends, but mostly I am in town somewhere having dinner and drinks with friends.