Ms Holst graduated as a teacher in 1983, after majoring in English and Physical Education. She has worked as a teacher in primary, lower secondary and upper secondary schools. Ms Holst has been active in the Norwegian teachers’ union for many years. She has been a union representative at all local, regional and national levels. In 1997, Ms Holst became an elected full time regional leader in her union. In 2001, she became Vice-President of Norsk Lærerlag (NL). In 2002 she became an Executive Board member of Union of Education Norway and was Vice President from 2010 through 2012. During this period Ms Holst has also represented Norway on the European Trade Union Committee on Education, and been elected Vice President from Europe on the Executive Board of Education International.
Ms Holst is currently Deputy General Secretary of Education International which represents organisations of teachers and other education employees across the globe. It is the world’s largest federation of unions, representing thirty million education employees in about four hundred organisations in one hundred and seventy countries and territories, across the globe.