Sara Mathijs, recently appointed Country Managing Director, Benelux, shares the journey that has led to her new role and her thoughts and feelings on the exciting new chapter ahead.
January 1st, 2020, like many others, I wake up, wishing the night could last a little longer, but duty calls as the kids are up. Immediately, I realise today is also the first day of my mandate as Country Managing Director, Benelux for 4C. I cannot wait to get going.
There are a lot of exciting challenges on my plate, and I have a lot to prove to myself. I have been preparing for this for many years, but as the saying goes; the proof is in the pudding. I am extremely focused on making this a success and hope to make my mentors proud.
When I was 17 my father asked me what I wanted to become. Not wanting to sponsor my studies to become a pilot, and after arguing against my second idea of becoming a vet, I gave up and flattered my dad in one of the most effective ways, by telling him that I wanted to be like him (a local CEO at a large multinational).
A few months after our conversation he put me on a plane (we were living in Cameroon) and sent me to Solvay, a leading business school in Brussels. On Sinterklaas (a Dutch celebration), a few weeks ago, I called my dad and told him that I was going to make him proud having accepted the position of Country Managing Director, Benelux at 4C. My father is a decent Flemish man who does not show much emotion, but I know that he was over the moon, and that he will be supporting me and cheering me on.
And I will need him, I will need the village that raised me to be successful. Filling Pascal’s (Benelux’s previous Country Managing Director and now Group COO) shoes will be a big task. I am extremely proud of my new position. I have something to prove to all the men and women who have children, who are single, we are our own glass ceiling. Yes, we can do it. But not alone!
I also count on my dear family of 4C, to continue our success. To safe-guard our culture while we are growing and changing. To focus on being the best version of ourselves. To accept and provide feedback allowing us to step outside our comfort zones without fear and to fill any gaps we identify. No revolution, but the right evolution. I am honoured to be given the opportunity to lead us into the future.
To all 4C members that were promoted, all those accepting new challenges, let’s celebrate.