Marjolijn Vlug, DEI Coach and Inclusive Career Coach

Marjolijn Vlug is a coach for people who seriously care about and (want to) contribute to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, whether as a DEI professional, advocate, or ally. She also coaches internationals in the Dutch job market on creating a career that truly fits. Marjolijn loves seeing that sparkle in her clients’ eyes when they talk about the kind of work they really care about. She knows we all deserve that YOU-shaped space where we can be ourselves and feel valued and welcome. She sees the importance of leveraging your talents and abilities to create more inclusive spaces for others by amplifying diversity, equity, and inclusion. That is why she helps you get clear on your next steps, choose intentionally, have accountability, and make a real difference.

Wonder Woman of the Week: Her Ultimate Goal

Tammy: What were you put on this Earth to do? In other words, what’s your life’s purpose?

Marjolijn: If I were to have a big billboard in a central square, it would have huge letters reading, ‘You are welcome here‘. That has always been the theme of my life. As a child, I was raised in a family of welcoming women. Choosing to study for my hospitality business degree came from my wish to make more people feel welcome. Working in HR for a decade, I always focused on making employees and applicants feel welcome and included. Now I am a coach who helps my clients to find a job and career they truly feel they belong in and supports professionals who create more inclusion and belonging in organisations. 

Tammy: What role does your work play in your life? How does it embody your values?

Marjolijn: My values brought me to the work I do these days. Kindness, fairness, autonomy, and honesty are important values for me. I know that kindness is never wasted, even when you don’t see the (ripple) effects right away. Fairness informs my drive to amplify diversity, equity, and inclusion. The autonomy of being a solopreneur is essential for me, both in terms of thinking independently and making my own choices around combining work + personal life. I also believe in being real and honest: I invite the people I work with to be more of themselves by showing up as myself.

Wonder Woman of the Week: Golden Tip

Tammy: What message would you like to give to other women?

Marjolijn: You are more skilled, talented, smart, and kind than you may believe. Take the space to dance with your brain, heart, and intuition. Keep growing to create that space for others too.

Relationship With Clothing

Tammy: Tell us about your relationship with clothing. What do you think about the act of getting dressed? What role does clothing serve for you? Does it hold a certain meaning or significance? 

Marjolijn: Clothing is a way of communicating: with me, with others, with the world around us, and with history. I love mixing vintage and retro items with classic outfits. I enjoy having fun with clothing, wearing colour and print combinations, and unusual items with historical or cultural references. Creative combinations on bright days, grey or navy, with a dash of colour on quieter days. And I always think about who I’ll meet that day, adding that in as one of the factors in my choice of an outfit. Even in what I wear, I want to make others feel welcome in the space I create. 

Tammy: How has your relationship with clothing changed throughout your career? 

Marjolijn: From starting in my career and wearing what I thought I ‘should’, to wearing lots of Mad Men-inspired office outfits; I’ve now landed in dressing for my little party — more of what I feel like wearing, and less of what others may expect me to wear.

Another change has been my increased focus on sustainability: I buy little, and when I do, it is predominantly fair trade, secondhand, vintage, or as sustainable as I can find it. That includes vintage jewellery and sustainable accessories (scarves, shoes). I save and repurpose items that have been well-loved classics for decades, and when my taste or shape changes, I give items to others for whom they’re a better fit.

Wonder Woman Outfit

Tammy: Describe an outfit of yours that makes you feel like Wonder Woman when you wear it.

Marjolijn: I love colourful dresses with bold prints. There is a quirky vintage dress that I love. It’s a 1980s model with intricate balloon sleeves, a bold black-magenta-and-white print, and medium length. It’s comfortable, and I really stand tall in it (with or without heels).

Also, and this is something not many people know about me: I wear red Wonder Woman underwear when I want to feel extra strong and confident!

Follow Marjolijn Vlug , Wonder Woman of the Week

To find out more about Marjolijn Vlug, DEI Coach and Inclusive Career Coach, visit her website. You can also connect with her on LinkedIn and follow her on Instagram.

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