GILLIAN VAN LAARHOVEN

Gillian is a former Group FD and Board Trustee who brings a wealth of strategic and operational experience to the Girls Out Loud executive board.  With over 20 years executive board experience across international private businesses and PLCs ; including, Europe, North America, Asia and the BRICS markets.

As a former FD, she has experience in a diverse range of industries, building robust financial functions and processes, overseeing regulatory/financial reporting, leading treasury strategy and spearheading diversification, operational improvement, Joint Ventures and Mergers & Acquisitions.

Gillian is a qualified ACMA and has an MBA, Diploma in International Marketing (DipM), IOD Certificate & Diploma in Company Direction and has recently been admitted as a Chartered Director.

She currently lives with her family in the Lake District.

Gillian says “Today it is very much in vogue to talk about the legacy we will leave behind for the next generation, whether this be economically, environmentally or in sport. I believe the best legacy we can leave is to empower all young people to believe in themselves and have the confidence that they can succeed in life.  GOL provides real life support to inspire girls to understand that they too have opportunities, can reach for the stars and fulfill dreams, when many don’t even know they can. I am committed and passionate about helping GOL to support these girls in schools across the UK.

What better legacy can we leave, than generations of confident young women, living and working to their awesome potential!”

GILLIAN IN THE HOTSEAT

Dinner guests:

Dawn French – I think she is both funny & witty and would be sure to have everyone laughing.

Joanne Rowling (AKA) J. K. Rowling – I admire her resilience & determination – would love to hear more about her inspiration for writing the Harry Potter books and would be curious to know what fired her imagination into the amazing wizarding world.

Sting – I grew up with his music, I’m sure he would have plenty of entertaining stories to tell about the music business & the ability to articulate them with style!

A master craftsman from Ancient Egyptian times – I am fascinated by this period in history and would love to really understand how they built the pyramids and amazing temples like Karnak in Luxor.  Were they slaves or craftsman & how did they live? (I would probably need to invite a translator too, as my skill in ancient languages is a little rusty!)

My husband Peter, he is the chef in our house, loves to party & cook for friends and family.

What song reminds you of being 15 & why?

Bye Bye baby – Bay City Rollers – I was mad on them –  had the tartan scarf , posters on my wall, platform soles ….. need I say more!

Who is your ultimate pin – up:

Mr Darcy  – Pride & Prejudice  – played by Colin Firth of course!

Most embarrassing moment:

Arriving at Heathrow to fly to Morocco on a business trip without my passport! I was meeting a colleague there for an extensive trip which all had to be rearranged!! I am now neurotic about forgetting my passport!

As a Teenager – Career aspirations:

I had no idea what I wanted to do for a career as a teenager; I just wanted to be independent go to work & earn some money, so I could leave home and buy clothes and makeup!

How do I want to be remembered?

As a caring person & a very good friend, who had time for and inspired others & who enjoyed life and had fun with their friends & family! 

Most used phrase:

I don’t think I have one?

Quick Fire:

–    I have just entered the Twitter realm!!
–    Lindt Chocolate
–    Dawn French & Jennifer Saunders; Girlie films like Mama Mia, (who could forget Pierce Brosnen singing! Luckily he didn’t give up his acting career!) Love actually, Holiday; Peter!
–    Mark Knofler
–    Short Bread
–    One of the most inspirational men: Nelson Mandela – for his incredible strength, believe, resilience and ability to forgive; One of the most inspirational women – my mum a strong, independent, determined, resilient, octogenarian with the most generous and caring heart!
–    Depends upon my mood, A Knights Tale, Mama Mia & Love Actually or Gladiator, A time to Kill & Usual Suspects.
–    Mobile phone, family & friends, cats & dog!
–    We all have choices and we make them – doing nothing and being passive is a choice; the quote “if not now, then when? If not you then who? (Hillel the Elder) sums this up for me…..
–    Too many things I want to do in my lifetime to list just one; Continue to develop and learn new things and take on new challenges, travelling and seeing more of the world are high up there.