Aspiring Women 24.11.2022

Aspiring women @ Broad Horizon – Marieke van der Werf

Marieke van der Werf | Partner Manager Broad Horizon since March 2021 | 44 years | Connector | No-nonsense mentality | Congenial | Mum of two teenage boys 

Those who have already met Marieke will certainly have remembered her thriving energy and contagious enthusiasm. It seems as though the job of Partner Manager was specifically designed for her, or is it because she distinctly expresses the assets of this function for all parties involved?

Business Tinder
Marieke is the connector between the 11 Businesses of Broad Horizon and Microsoft in the numerous European countries where the group is active. It is a challenging task as it not only requires knowledge and understanding of the various businesses and Microsoft solutions but also necessitates strong people skills.

For Marieke, it’s all about getting an in-depth understanding of the various business propositions and finding the right match.  “To link people, it is crucial to fully understand what each company contributes”, she says. “It also requires extensive knowledge of the structure, obligations, and compliance that come to play when partnering with Microsoft.

The human factor
Before working for Broad Horizon, Marieke gained a lot of experience in Sales and Marketing related jobs, mainly in the hospitality and e-commerce industry. “I studied hotel management and found this to be a great education as it gave me a sound basis and a broad perspective on the world. The hospitality aspect of this industry is something I use in my daily conversations with business partners, customers, and colleagues alike. When I started working for ‘vakantieveilingen’ an online auction platform, my interest in IT grew. I found it fascinating to be able to help customers by offering them the correct technical solutions. My passion for IT is vast and I enjoy finding the personal balance between online developments and technology.”

Getting the job done
When asking Marieke what her view is on prejudices in tech industry she stresses the fact that this question is very susceptible to interpretation. “I’m very direct and not receptive to sarcastic remarks or sexist jokes. I enjoy working with men and have great respect for feisty, outspoken, intelligent, and independent women. For me, gender does not make a difference in a business environment, as long as we can achieve goals together.”

“If you are 100% committed to your job, it should not matter which gender you are, or if you work full-time or part-time, as long as you get the job done! There will always be differences between men and women, this should not be a problem. One should look at the other person and understand what he or she needs to be successful, so the company can meet its strategic objectives too.”

Marieke however, does not react well to people who do not keep their commitments. “Follow-up is so important in my job, I’m very eager to not let go before having achieved the set goals together.” She also has a certain aversion to people who tend to play the victim: “We all have jobs to do and deadlines to meet, and yes, we are all busy, but goals need to be met. I’m convinced that by working together as a team, we can help each other and our customers to be successful.”

Focus
Marieke has adopted a hybrid working environment. “For me, it’s all about finding the right balance that best suits my situation. This means making time for things that are important to me, such as my family and sport that I practice four times a week.” She continues by saying: “My working week consists of four days and I do not have a set office as I can easily switch between home, the Broad Horizon office or Microsoft office. The main thing is that when I work, I’m focused and fully concentrated on my job. I always been very driven in closing deals, the fact that I can help colleagues to accelerate negotiations with their customers is very rewarding to me.”

Looking ahead
Marieke sometimes wonders what life holds in stock for her, but she can confidentially say that she is very happy with her current job. “It meets many requirements and allows me to inform and inspire, which I find very important,” she says. ”The connection with the various Broad Horizon Businesses and Microsoft keeps evolving and growing. There is still so much to discover and to learn, so I’m sure this will keep me on my toes for some time to come,” she concludes.

On a more personal note, Marieke would like to get involved in youth care once she is fully independent financially: “I would love to extend my knowledge and expertise as a connector by helping youth organizations because I’m convinced that every support, however small, helps!”