NAME: Astrid Brouwer-Mesman
COUNTRY: The Netherlands
BACKGROUND: From primary Education till University Business studies. And 20 years of a diversity of evening courses as internal Bank-courses and Insurance Advisor.
ACTION/SECTOR: Bank and Finance
POSITION: ABNAMRO, Director Finance, Risk and Portfolio Management (a.o. business acquisition and environment advice),
ORGANIZATION: Linkedin Astrid Brouwer
My Background and Career
With a job during summer holidays, I started at the age of 15, at the ABNAMRO bank. I just had finished a form of primary education and had plans to go on to further studying. But they offered me a fixed job. So I asked my mother permission, to say yes! 42 years later ,I am still working at the bank with even more pleasure. I did all sorts of work. Also activities, that don’t exist anymore, due to automation. I had moreover management functions. I got my own office as director in Haarlem and now I am director of a staff department at Head Office. Of course I survived a lot of reorganisations, saw opportunities and have been asked for jobs. You can develop yourself quite well in a big company, with internal and external education, mentoring and coaching. When you want to use these opportunities, of course you have to speak up these wishes, quite loudly. The ABNAMRO has a female friendly policy. The amount of female workers at the bank is 52%. However in management positions, the percentage of women is 18%. The aim is increasing this percentage.
From typist of telexes, I grew up to director of my own regional office in Haarlem. Now I am responsible for finance and risk management, with a staff of 14 specialists in business acquisition and environment advice. My team has a little more women than men. I love to work in a mixed team full of diversity. Your role as a manager, has changed during the ‘new way of flexible working’. It is based on trust and steering on output, instead of controlling presence. I believe, that is a nice aspect, for the development of people. In the Netherlands, I see the economic climate improving a bit: the entrepreneurs are daring to invest again, and the bank is able to confirm these loans more often.
Certainly over 20 years, I attended schools, education and classes, in the evening after work. I took internal and external courses, knowledge improvement, mentoring and coaching. I have been asked a lot of time now, to be a mentor for others. Although I have not a Human Resource background, I have a lot of experience. The opportunities for growth and development are specific and special for big companies, as a bank. You can grow as well as vertical as horizontal. Ideal for students, with a degree of a middle or higher education in Economics. I hope, I still will be chosen, for challenges, during the upcoming reorganisation.