In episode 70, we welcome as our guest Marguerite Soeteman-Reijnen, a businesswoman from The Netherlands. She recently stepped down as Chairman of the Executive Board of Aon Holdings. She tells about her journey to her current position and her interest in supporting and encouraging women in leadership roles. She emphasizes the importance of trust in her career success and the success of the organizations she has led. Trust is particularly significant in the insurance industry, where she started her career, as it is based on the principle of ultimate good faith. Marguerite explains that building trust involves logic, empathy, and authenticity. She believes that trust is crucial in relationships and leadership and highlights the role of trust in women’s leadership.
The interview also discusses a study that suggests women are less prone to losing trust and more likely to regain trust even after repeated transgressions. Marguerite attributes this to women’s optimism and relationship-driven nature. However, she notes that personal experiences and the frequency of trust violations can influence individual responses.
When it comes to balancing trust and empathy with making sound business decisions, Marguerite mentions the importance of trust but verify approach. She emphasizes the need to gather all relevant information, maintain competence and confidence, and have realistic self-awareness. Building trust with underrepresented groups requires leaders to foster an inclusive and belonging culture. In her former role at Aon Holdings, trust is vital in providing risk and insurance solutions to clients. We talk about a recent report on sexually transgressive behavior in a TV show and the importance of independent and unbiased investigations to maintain trust. She offers advice to young women aspiring to leadership roles in underrepresented industries, the importance of continuous learning, asking questions, making oneself visible, and believing in oneself.