Mama Cash

Found over at the Zimbabwe - land of orphans Skynet blog:

Happy international women's day. All over the world women are celebrating. My heart goes to my friends in Zimbabwe who don't have very much to celebrate today. A female zimbabwean has a life exspectancy of 34 years. She has to make difficult choices everyday, to stay alive and to feed her children. For the sake of her children she gives up on her own hygiene. She has to choose between food for her kids or sanitary pads for her menstruation. Instead she uses rags, newspapers or leaves. It's good to be a woman, but in some places it's better to be a woman than in other places on this earth.

Mama Cash

10:58 Gepost door Barbara Dessers in General | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: iwd, vrouwendag, journee des femmes, english |  Facebook |


International Women's Day 8 March

iwd_3Celebrated on 8 March, International Women's Day (IWD) is the global day connecting all women around the world and inspiring them to achieve their full potential. <br>IWD celebrates the collective power of women past, present and future.
A few examples of how women celebrate:



I’ve been moved.  After 2 years of renovation, I have finally the pleasure to live in my own charming house.  It is still somewhat basic, with a lot of dust and few domotica, but I already love it. 


One of the “high tech domotica” I’m still lacking is a television.  So (proud of my colleagues and my company as I am) I went this Saturday to a Belgacom teleboutique to order Belgacom TV, ADSL Go and a Fixed Line (you name it, I have it all!).  It was very nice to be on the customer side for once, especially because it was such a good experience.  Friendly people, fast delivery, and incredible sales!


In expectation of my Belgacom TV connection, which will deliver me undoubtedly nights of joy, I go a lot to the theatre.  I live in the centre of the city, so it’s a 5 minute walk to discover the most amazing cinematographic art works in my favourite theatre, with its small rooms, typical fragrance, and nice movie-loving-people.  Let me recommend you two master pieces I recently saw to enrich those dark winter evenings.




If you saw “Amores Perros”, and you liked it, you will certainly love “Babel”.  This cross-cultural epos deals about miscommunication and about the need and the impossibility to protect our beloved ones, with the magnificent Cate Blanchett and Brad Pitt.

If you want more Bad Pritt (he produced it) there is ”The Departed”, a straight forward raw gangster movie, in Martin Scorsese’s known intense style.  10 years after the Titanic, Leonardo DiCaprio will let you dazzle again, but now that we’re all grown up, it’s thanks to his amazing acting performance. ;-)







12:06 Gepost door Barbara Dessers in General | Permalink | Commentaren (1) | Tags: mieke, mieke hullebroeck, belgacom tv, english, movies |  Facebook |


 World Usability Day






As usability is my thing, my team and I J participated in some events.


First there was the event organized by The Human Interface Group


Some subjects took my full interest:


Vincent Van Quickenborne (replaced by someone of his staff), State Secretary of Administrative Simplification, about administrative simplification

What I have learned:

Most simplifications have been implemented for companies and not for citizens.


In 2003 you needed 56 days to start up your own company. They have been able to reduce this to only 3 days in 2006.


There has been an increase of new companies created since the simplification has been implemented.


There were no statistics however on how many companies close books the same year that they have started.


Wim van Winghe, Business Group Manager Windows Client & Windows Mobile at Microsoft, about usability research for Windows Vista

What I have learned:

Windows desirability: they measured the reaction of the peoples’ faces while using the application. Does the user show a smile or a frown?

Living with Windows Vista: users who were testing the application at home could use green/red smileys when they liked/disliked a feature they never used before. All that feedback could be consulted by everyone who was working on the project via an intranet.


Johan Lybaert, Program Manager at Ardatis, about Agile Development and User Centered Design

What I have learned:

Pair programming: This will motivate developers as they challenge each other all the time and it will lead to fewer rectifications in the end.


White boards were used as to-do list for the team. Team members would cross over issues once they were done.


In the evening, there was the PULSE night event organized by Humantics


What I have learned:

  • User interfaces turn into user experiences
  •  PULSE: playability – usability – likeability – sociability – experience design
  •  Comedian Eddie Izzard showed on dvd on how he experiences human computer interaction. I can’t find the exact video on the internet, but this will give you an idea:

Let’s get on it girls! Let’s make our world easy.


Barbara Dessers

16:35 Gepost door Barbara Dessers in General | Permalink | Commentaren (0) | Tags: usability, windows vista, english, barbara, ladiesroom |  Facebook |


Perfect balance

As this is my first post to this blog, I will first shortly introduce myself. I’m working at Skynet as a sales manager for almost 2 years. I really enjoy to work within this fast growing media environment! I am 37 years old and ‘married with children’ ;-)…As many mothers I’m working on finding a perfect balance between work and family life. I spend many of my free time with my girls. We love to organise visits together on Saturdays or Sundays. By the way, most of the times my husband doesn’t join us… he doesn’t feel that need to compensate the few time of the week during the week-ends ;-)…


Especially at this time of the year, when it becomes colder, we like to do more ‘cultural’ things. Such as ...




Last Saturday we’ve visited the Book Fair in Antwerp (www.boekenbeurs.be). It’s still open until next Saturday and I can recommend everybody to go to it. Especially with children: there are reading sessions organised and many writers are present and are taking time to sign books and talk to the children...you can see the admiration for some writers on the faces of the children! And as we are in the ‘toilet’ environment here, have also a look at this trailer, it's filmed in the 'mensroom’ ;-)  http://www.boekenbeurs.be/funny.




Our next visit has already been choosen; we'll go to the India Fair in the Bozar in Brussels (www.bozar.be). In a special area of the exhibition, children can experience the Indian way of life, art and history. They can build their own Taj Mahal, play traditional street games, make real Indian herb tea, etc. I believe it’s every Saturday until end January 2007. Anyway, we’re looking forward to this visit !


I hope to share soon with many of you how you found the balance between work and family and of course let me know about the 'not to miss' events!


Take care,




13:00 Gepost door Barbara Dessers in General | Permalink | Commentaren (3) | Tags: english, ladiesroom, work and family, nathalie |  Facebook |


male advisory - explicit lyrics

Dear ladies, dear men,


What I’m about to tell you, could be shocking for some men, or the content could be valued as being inappropriate.  Sensitive readers are warned… ;-)


I’m Mieke, 26 years old, and strongly interested in social and ethical debates related to business life, more specific about the role of women and/ in business… That’s why I decided to be a member of the Belgacom Diversity Operational Committee (I’ll tell you later about it), and that’s why I’ve decided to join this blog of fabulous female colleagues (and I can assure you, here at Skynet there are a lot of FFC’s!).


Diversity in business life is a topic in which I strongly believe, because I’m convinced that bringing different people together is a leverage for creativity, innovation, and success.  I could write hours about my perceptions of business life, and my dream of the ideal workplace, but let’s be honest: in business you don’t only need visions, but also hard facts.  So as from now, I will keep you in my posts informed about studies, trends and statistics which prove the added value of (gender) diversity in the workplace!


Let me start with a survey from Catalyst, an independent non-profit organization that conducts research on a variety of topics related to women in business.  In 2004, they explicitly investigated the connection between gender diversity and financial performance.  In other words: does the fact that you have women in your top management changes anything about the success of your company?


Not that it was surprising to us, but the answer is loud and clear: yes. J


Catalyst used two measures to examine financial performance: Return On Equity (ROE) and Total Return to Shareholders (TRS), both measures that learn us more about the impact on shareholders’ value, or freely translated as: “money”.  For this, they used data from 353 Fortune 500 companies…


Their key finding is very clear: the group of companies with the highest representation of women on their top management experienced better financial performance than the group of companies with the lowest women’s representation.  This finding counts for both financial measures: the ROE was 35,1 % higher, the TRS 34,0 % higher…


We’re no ‘nice to haves’, but ‘need to haves’.  Let us spread the word, and let these percentages live throughout our performances!


Mieke Hullebroeck


16:01 Gepost door Barbara Dessers in General | Permalink | Commentaren (3) | Tags: women in business, english, ladiesroom, facts and figures, mieke |  Facebook |


Check out my breasts.com

No, not my breasts silly! Check out your breasts!







We all say that we do this regularly but apart from a bi-yearly check at the gynecologist we don’t really take it that seriously.  But we really should girls. Have a look at the video and let’s all promise to each other that somewhere this week, we take a few precious minutes for ourselves to check out our breasts. Drop the baby, drop the meeting, drop the phone calls. Check out your breasts!  

men-titsIf men would have breast, they’d really appreciate them!!!



I’m Barbara; I answer my emails promptly when they come in. I’m good at problem solving and my dream is that one day, someone offers me for my birthday a library stuffed with old books where I can start from scratch to organize all of them. I think that if I would realize that dream around the year 2030, this could well be the cherry on my ‘professional’ cake. I work at Skynet for a bit over 4 years now. I’m a usability freak and put the customer always first. For me there are no technical restrictions. Everything is always possible.  Looking forward communicating with you all ladies! 

Barbara Dessers - Skynet usability & customer care manager

15:19 Gepost door Barbara Dessers in Beauty | Permalink | Commentaren (1) | Tags: english, barbara, ladiesroom, advertising, cancer, kanker |  Facebook |


Campaign for real beauty

Hi Active Ladies,


When the edito committee of this blog discussed about the content of the blog we all agreed not to communicate about fashion and make-up tricks but merely about our life as women in an aggressive and competitive world.

Because the active ladies always put the standards very high we are also often disappointed, from a business or private perspective. We are also very severe with ourselves and this is the reason why this campaign touched me.

Nothing about beauty, just about philosophy and good sense… Have a look.






17:55 Gepost door Barbara Dessers in Beauty | Permalink | Commentaren (1) | Tags: skynet, advertising, english, valerie |  Facebook |


A little word about the Ladies' Room

This blog is a tentative to address all the women who have to combine a rich and challenging professional life with all the requirements of being a role model mother, a reliable partner, an omnipresent friend, a grateful daughter, a talented cooker, a sexy gal, a distinguished spouse, a flexible daughter-in-law, a trustfully copilot, a well organized and ordered housewife, an available sister, a committed woman etc…


I hope this will give support to all the ladies that are facing those daily evidences J and help the beloved male gender to understand how we function.


I am 29, responsible of human resources and corporate communication at Skynet. I am a young mother, married since 4 years, very independent, and reasonably ambitious J. Through this blog I’d like to share my experiences but also to learn about yours, to exchange good tricks that can make our lives easier (and the plural use is not a mistake!!!) , to make sure I/we are following sustainable objectives and over all to contribute in making the world evolve the way we would like it to turn !


Let’s hope you’ll enjoy reading the posts of the Skynet Active Ladies, you’ll recognize you in their diversity and you’ll get the desire to join the “ladiesroom” community!

Valérie Janssens

15:34 Gepost door Barbara Dessers in Web | Permalink | Commentaren (1) | Tags: english, skynet, ladiesroom, janssens, valerie janssens |  Facebook |



Hello there!

Won't keep you too long because there's nothing more annoying than going to the ladiesroom and having to wait! I'll start by introducing myself.  My name is An Broeders, responsible for the B2B Marketing  & Communication. I think I can call myself an active lady since I have to organize projects from A to Z like events, campaigns, mailings, ... But the 'active' part is not only limited to my workexperiences. When I'm not at work I'm also a 'busy' woman. Nope by 'busy' I don't mean I have to take care of children or cleaning the house. Even without these kind of activities I can hardly find the time to bring 'zen' into my life cause I want to get more out of it than lying in front of the TV. What do I do instead? Following a winecourse, taking tennislessons, going to the gym, trying new recipes while inviting friends for dinner (and hoping that they will stay friends afterwards), going out, ... Did I forget something? Oh yes, one thing that you normally don't ask a lady, but since we're in the ladiesroom I dare to tell that I'm 29 years old. So still a couple of months left to share my experiences from the point of view of a 'business lady' into her twenties... Enjoy reading this blog!


15:33 Gepost door Barbara Dessers in General | Permalink | Commentaren (2) | Tags: ladiesroom, english, an |  Facebook |