Lucy Schalkwijk is a Women’s Empowerment Champion and Founder and Chair of the Career Women’s Network Kigali, in the African country of Rwanda. She also holds a senior management position for a German subsidiary where she is responsible for all Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) activities in Rwanda.

Born in the Netherlands Lucy has always been a person that attempts to break out of patterns. She moved to Belgium to do her studies and then began a career in finance. Then the financial crisis hit. After the birth of her first child she decided it was time to return to her original dream, which was to travel. So she moved to Burundi and started working in international development. Four years later, and pregnant with her third child, she moved to Rwanda.

She loved her work but a series of events made it obvious to Lucy that the workplace was not set up to work for women as it works for men. Instead of complaining about it Lucy founded the Career Women’s Network Kigali. What began as an informal monthly gathering has now grown into an organization with more than 400 members.

In this episode Lucy talks about the systemic barriers that are holding women back including unconscious gender bias. Lucy was speaking to me from Rwanda but the issues she describes are the same ones career women face around the world. Lucy is an inspiring, articulate, and passionate voice that needs to be amplified.  Enjoy.

You can reach Lucy at:


Please do not hesitate to reach out to me. I’d love to hear your thoughts, comments, and stories, or just make a connection.

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