Making our organisation more visible has become a mantra passed down from one biennium to another. And it was top of my list too, as a key component of the concept of rethinking-rebuilding-reinventing Soroptimism in post-Covid times.


However, working on visibility is an empty endeavour when the content is lacking. And, when it comes to content, Soroptimists are spoilt for choice. This can be our undoing, with the multitude of topics and projects sometimes resulting in us missing what to highlight and losing important messages.


The objective of the Growth Academy was to become strong Soroptimists, with an image as strong as our achievements. We worked on Strategy, Leadership and Communication and practiced our elevator pitches (when reading on, you will see why this last point is a particularly significant one).


Visibility starts with how you as an individual and as a Soroptimist stand in life. How you bring our message of ‘women standing up for women’ alive. It is the strength we have when standing up together that takes us from visible to unstoppable.


Just look at the power and impact of these three phrases and how the messages move from a passive statement to an active and powerful result:


Good: A delegation of twenty strong Soroptimists attended the UN-CSW67 (The sixty-seventh session of the Commission on the Status of Women).


From left to right: Eleonora Bonacossa (SI Germany), Giovanna Guercio & Alice Paola Pomè (SI Italy), Carolien Demey (SIE President), Jitka Kratochvílová (SIE Assistant Programme Director), Nina Smart (SI Romania), Marianne Smits & Judica van Riessen (SI The Netherlands, Suriname and Curaçao)


Stronger: Beyond attending, they participated and raised their voices and were visible to the point of being recognised and valued when they took the floor.


And the cherry on the cake: When introducing themselves as Soroptimists to a high-ranked person while in the elevator of the UN (a literal elevator pitch!), one of the party exclaimed “another Soroptimist!” – we can certainly say we succeeded in being visible and unstoppable Soroptimists!


Long live Soroptimists in elevators ‘elevating’ us from visible to unstoppable!


Yours sincerely,


Carolien Demey

SIE President 2021-2023



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