Former Managing Director of Parkmobile, Esther van der Meer, recently joined us as our COO. Her appointment fits the current growth phase of both Siilo and Prisma, in which we further shape and develop our scale-up strategy for the near future.
Esther has an impressive track record in growth strategies at scale-ups. She held several key positions at Booking.com, Catawiki and Parkmobile. Her choice to move into healthtech was a conscious one. ‘Since the pandemic, we have experienced again how crucial healthcare is and how important it is that we help it to innovate and digitize,’ says Esther.
‘Siilo Messenger and Prisma are both strong drivers in how we reorganize cure and care. They provide for a safer and faster communication and knowledge sharing between professionals.… This is of such importance, and we’re going to work hard to further engage as many doctors, nurses, healthcare institutions and organizations in this.’
Women in Tech
In addition to Esther’s decisive experience in scaling up young organizations, it was also important for our organization to remain diverse. ‘The male-female ratio within Siilo is about 53⁄47,’ says CEO Joost Bruggeman. ‘We also want to see this balance in leadership positions, because we know from both research and experience that diversity brings our organization forward. So the choice for Esther as COO was a highly considered one.’
‘Naturally, it also helped that we had a good click. She immediately reminded me of Dr. Hermien Schreurs, my female role model who was both influential and important during my training as a surgeon. Among other things by teaching me to fight for the patient in a safe educational climate – which was still unheard of at that time in healthcare. Women like her are pioneers that build on trust, with a drive that I immediately recognized in Esther. In addition, it was evident that Esther has the same enthusiasm and energy as we do. We are going to make great steps in the coming period!’
Task as COO
Esther explains that she has always pushed hard for women, more specifically for women in leadership positions, including in tech. ‘I am in favour of a women’s quota as a temporary means to speed up this process. This push is important because old patterns and the ‘old boys network’ always end up slowing down an organization’s innovation process.
‘It’s been known for so long that companies thrive when positions are filled equally and diversely, and not only on execution level, but especially in positions where women actively participate in creating the organizational strategy. That’s where I see a strong task for myself as COO: to recognize the ambitions of women both internally and externally, and to motivate them and help them grow.