Dianne Lynne Bevelander
Dianne Lynne Bevelander (born Durban, South Africa, June 17th 1959; died September 2021) was founder and Executive Director of the Erasmus Centre for Women and Organisations (ECWO) and is Professor of Management Education with a focus on Women in Business at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM). She is a pioneer of gender equality in organisations, in 2011 establishing the first all women leadership elective as part of RSM’s MBA programmes and founding ECWO in 2014 as a centre of teaching, research and advocacy focusing on redressing the gender imbalance in organisations and empowering women to reach their full potential and drive change in society.
Early life and education
Dianne was born to a Geraldus Jan Cornelis Bevelander and Renata Schonfeld and spent the formative years of her life in the South African coastal city of Durban. She attended Grosvenor Girls High School and worked in administration at Technikon Mangosuthu (renamed Mangosuthu University of Technology) before earning a BA in Sociology and Philosophy from the University of South Africa (Unisa). Bevelander obtained her MBA from the University of Cape Town, South Africa before earning a PhD from the University of Lulea, Sweden. She was appointed Professor of Management Education with a focus on Women in Business at RSM in 2014. On February 5th 2016 she delivered her inaugural address titled The 8th Summit: Women’s Ascent of Organisations. In 2014 she founded ECWO.
In 2004, Bevelander was appointed Executive Director, MBA Programmes at RSM, a position she held until 2007. In 2008 she was appointed Associate Dean of the MBA Programmes and during the nearly seven years in that position she began her pioneering role in organisational gender equality in society and leading the drive for women empowerment at the RSM and across the broader Erasmus University.
Leading through innovation, Bevelander designed a women's only elective at RSM focusing on the empowerment of women aspiring to leadership roles using the mountain (Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania) as an outside classroom, and as a metaphor for business. The first elective ran in September 2011 and it ran until xxx.
Bevelander established ECWO with a mandate to conduct research, offer executive development programmes, and engage in advocacy. In her role as Executive Director, Bevelander develops and runs Women in Leadership Executive courses and Masterclasses at RSM and other institutions, including in March 2021 at the Dutch Finance Ministry.
Teaching highlights include developing the curricula and serving as the lead faculty for the personal leadership development across the full portfolio of MBA programs and teaching leadership development and managing people for students and executives across five continents.
ECWO’s mandate is to conduct research, offer executive development programmes, and engage in advocacy. Bevelander was instrumental in securing a 3 million European Union grant to work on removing barriers to the recruitment, retention, and career progression of female researchers through the EQUAL4EUROPE project.
Bevelander’s primary research interests relate to management education and diversity with a particular emphasis on the career development of professional women. She has published in Harvard Business Review, among others. In January 2020 Dianne was profiled in Harper’s Bazaar in an issue that focused on women leaders, and she has been featured in Forbes, The New York Times, Huffington Post and Business Week.
Bevelander won the and Female Academics Moving toward Equity (FAME) Athena Award during Erasmus University’s 106th Dies Natalis on Friday, 8 November 2019. The award honours university staff members who have made an exceptional effort to promote female talent – and who have set a fine example for their colleagues in the process. Bevelander was honoured for her “determination and consistency of purpose in changing mindsets in business and management, and in the school. She has been instrumental in RSM integrating equality and empowerment as an aspect of leadership into its education and research.”
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