On 29 September the Young Talent Award 2016 was presented to Eeke Olijve (30), Director of Relationship Management at ABN AMRO MeesPierson. ‘I’m quite a levelheaded person, but when I was up on the stage I was hit by just how special this is.’
More than 200 guests representing the Dutch business community (non-profit and government) attended the gala dinner where the Female Executive of the Year was announced and the Young Talent Award was presented. A panel of five judges chose Ingrid Thijsen, COO of Alliander NV and a member of the company’s Management Board, as the 2016 Female Executive of the Year. The prize to encourage talented young women aged 31 and younger was presented to Eeke Olijve by jury chairman Jet de Ranitz.
The judges’ opinion
The young bank director was lauded for her impressive career, and in particular for how she has given it shape. She displays empathy and appreciation for her people’s work-life balance as she helps people to achieve growth while staying true to themselves. At the same time she sees the bigger picture, knows what she wants and is not afraid to lead the way. In essence, she combines a focus on results with employee satisfaction.
'I am who am I, I do what I do,' Eeke responded. ‘This helps me to stay true to myself. It’s important to me that I challenge myself, that I seize the opportunities that come my way, and I enjoy changes in dynamics. Entrepreneurship and shared growth are also important to me. If you coach people to grow, both professionally and privately, your department will grow. That’s how to have an impact.’
Innovation, sustainability and diversity
The Young Talent Award is an initiative of Stichting Topvrouw van het Jaar (‘Female Executive of the Year Foundation’), and was introduced as a means to encourage talented young women. According to the guidelines, candidates for the award must be ‘innovative, with a striking manner of leadership and a desire to use their position to actively and purposefully help create a sustainable society’. An important criterion for the selection of the Female Executive of the Year is the amount of effort that the women have put forward to promote diversity within their organisations.
To find out more about how the prizes were awarded, read the report by Topvrouw van het jaar.