Skip to main content

Meet our new MLE Segment Director, Yvette Hoogewerf

With over a decade at Visma, Yvette brings a multifaceted background in sales, marketing, strategy and leadership to her new role as MLE Segment Director. In this interview, she reflects on leveraging diversity and inclusion for the improvement of software, and the tech industry as a whole.

Yvette Hoogewerf sits comfortably in a chair with hands clasped on her lap.

Yvette joined Visma through the acquisition of Mamut in 2011, and has since worked in various roles throughout the Group. In her new role as Segment Director of Medium & Large Enterprises (MLE), she helps drive growth and scalability for 25 Visma companies in 6 different countries. She also becomes the third woman in Visma’s top management. Let’s hear more about her journey, who has inspired her, and why she believes software companies can do even more to leverage a diverse workforce.

Hi, Yvette! Congratulations on your new role. How would you describe the diversity of the Visma companies that you work with?

Thank you so much! To respect and honour the diversity in cultures, company sizes and products – this is one of Visma’s success factors. From a specialised warehouse or invoice management company, to employee performance management, to ERP and HRM powerhouses. Though company sizes and cultures can be different, we are all united, offering solutions to medium and larger enterprises to support their core business and employee processes.

In many situations we are competing against global players, so our knowledge of local cultures and customer behaviour, supported by a very loyal and dedicated partner channel, gives us a very good position in our markets.

How do you think diverse and inclusive companies benefit our products and customers, and how do you plan to leverage diversity and inclusion to further drive innovation and growth in your segment?

In many cases there is no “one path to success” or “one way to solve a problem”. So to include people in teams with different backgrounds to solve a problem or work on a product is highly important. I don’t mean just including both men and women, but also both young and experienced, as well as different nationalities. I always experience this myself as highly motivating and engaging.

“On the other side, our customers are a diversified audience, which makes it even more important to mirror this in our own organisations. Being customer-centric often means being diversified ourselves as well.”

We have many companies in Visma from many cultures, countries and backgrounds. Not all cultures and thus companies are equally diversified, which is something we need to respect while at the same time letting companies learn from each other how diversity and inclusion can help their businesses. We have peer groups where companies from different countries providing similar solutions can discuss this as well as other relevant topics and challenges.

How have your experiences shaped your current leadership style and priorities? Have there been any women role models that have had a strong influence on you?

During my career I have had the pleasure of working with very different leaders. I’ve had leaders who were strict on details, who challenged me to be critical, who asked questions and stimulated me to think big. I’ve also had leaders who gave me the freedom to manage things myself, to fail and learn to decide with speed and conviction! So the different styles have shaped me, yes. You take along something from all the leaders you have worked with. But I have been lucky to have met very inspiring leaders at Visma.

There is not one specific woman leader who has inspired me, but maybe several. I am for example greatly inspired by some of the Swedish Managing Directors, women who are running large companies in very competitive marketspaces.

And it is maybe not a specific person, but a culture that has had great influence on me. I have been lucky to experience the possibilities of the Scandinavian culture – where it is accepted, respected, and seen as normal that both partners can have a career combined with great childcare possibilities. To combine family with career, and have a workplace that respects that both partners have responsibilities on both sides, has given me the opportunity to be where I am now.  

But if I would like to highlight one person, it is my mother. During the late 1970s and beginning of the 1980s, she and my dad decided to both work part-time to have equal possibilities for a career and share the responsibilities at home. That was quite a bold move at that time. I was one of the few kids in my class with a working mom. She taught me to be an independent woman.

Women continue to be underrepresented in the tech field. What changes would you like to see that would further support women in tech?

First of all, we need to show that tech is more than sitting behind a PC and coding. Showing examples of successful women tech colleagues and what they are doing will attract and slowly change the image of women in the tech field. I think we do a good job of promoting this in our competence centres.

What message or piece of advice would you give to other women aspiring to work in the technology field?

“Tech is everywhere, and you are maybe more ‘techy’ than you think. Tech is not boring and is now a part of all processes in our society and daily life.”

If you want to be part of shaping the future and a frontrunner in society, tech is the place to be. Given that our end users are incredibly diversified, it is important that gender equality in this sector becomes more balanced. We need both men and women to develop solutions for both men and women.

Our commitment to Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) is integrated throughout our companies.

Learn about D&I at Visma

Most popular