Sports Leadership & Development

Gaby Dijkstra


As an independent leadership development professional I work in the outdoor sports industry and higher education. Besides this, I am contributing to scientific research as part-time PhD candidate at Rotterdam School of Management (NL), where I look at the role of gender in extreme environments.

I have a focus on leadership development, inclusion, gender equity and empowerment of young professionals. I develop curricula, work as lecturer, and leadership trainer during outdoor expeditions. I am also taking the responsibility for quality assurance as board member and examiner in Dutch non profit sports foundations and educational institutions.

I’m also active as volunteer mentor in Dutch youth prison. Diversity in my works keeps me motivated and on a continuous learning path.

I have been fortunate to travel all 7 continents, breaking some barriers as solo traveler. Always looking for outdoor adventures, mountain ranges and to stretch my comfort zone across various cultures. I’ve lived, studied and worked abroad, ranging from the USA, to months in South America in and Antartica in 2017, followed by a 18 months life as digital nomad in the Himalayas pre COVID-pandemic, where I’ve set up several sport projects. As of January ’24, I am once again working remotely from the mountains, this time in Central Asia.


My services

I specialise in leadership development, inclusion, gender equality and youth empowerment through sports. I create tools for leadership trainings, provide tailor made workshops for organisations, and use outdoor experiences to empower students. I provide these services in collaboration with public schools, practical and (applied) science education, societal institutions, local communities and partnerships with NGO’s.

I have multiple years experience in international sport development and project and event management. In particular women empowerment programs, multi-sports events and outdoor leadership expeditions. Since 2020 I also provide specific Inclusive Leadership programs with emphasis on social safety in the workplace.

Research & Advisory

As researcher in I specialize in research on Gender, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Research insights guide my strategic advisory and policy making practices at sports organisations.

From 2020-2023 I was appointed as research at Rotterdam School of Management for the EU funded Horizon2020 program on “Gender Equality in Academia”.

Teaching & Workshops

I create learning programs and facilitate workshops on the following topics:
Social Safety in the Workplace – from the bystander persepctive.
Sports for Development – how to use sports as good for the development of communities.
Leadership Development for young professionals. How can they find their way in their early careers.

Tailor made programs, both for organizations, executive education and higher education. In Dutch and English.

Outdoor Leadership Trainer

I am a leadership development trainer during outdoor expedities in Europe. Going with a group of leaders from all ranges of business, into the remote outdoors, with only a backpack with the necessities. Moving along tracks surrounded by the force of nature, create the excellent environment to work on personal leadership challenges. Out of the comfort zone is where the learning starts.

Quality Assurance & Examiner

At various sports organisations in the Netherlands, I act in the board of advisors, for quality assurance of the non for profit goals or the organisation. Besides this, I am also an independent internal examinator at MBO4Leisure Sports, to assure the quality of the students educational level before they are eligible to graduate.


My Clients

The following list is merely intended to give you an idea of my credentials. The service I have provided before as evidence of the achievements I can secure for you.