Embark on a three-decade journey of professional growth and resilience as Hanneke Smits takes us through her incredible career in a male-dominated field while prioritizing what matters most to her along the way.
She emphasizes the role of self-reflection, learning new things, seeking diverse perspectives, and utilizing both mentors and sponsors. These elements, combined with the tenacity to overcome hurdles, teaches us what is possible in career trajectory and achieving leadership roles.
- Mastering the Art of Navigating Male-Dominated Industries: Learning how to thrive and excel in traditionally male-dominated workplaces as a woman.
- Elevating Your Career with Mentorship and Sponsorship: Unlocking the secrets to accelerating your professional growth through the power of mentorship and sponsorship.
- Unleashing Transferable Skills for Career Development: Discovering how to leverage your existing skills to pivot and succeed in new career paths.
- Embracing Self-Reflection for Personal Growth: Exploring the transformative potential of self-reflection in achieving personal and professional growth.
- Unveiling Time Management and Productivity Strategies: Uncovering effective strategies to maximize your productivity and time management skills for career advancement.
[00:35] A Reflection by Hanneke
[01:48] Meet Hanneke Smits
[04:11] Foundation of Success
[10:12] Navigating a Male-Dominated Industry
[16:01] Mastery of Skills and Learning from Mistakes
[18:17] Leveraging Strengths for Effectiveness
[23:50] Embracing Feedback and Learning from Mistakes
[29:05] Taking a Career Break and Finding Clarity
[29:50] Self-Reflection and Identifying the Next North Star
[35:00] Lightning Round Questions
Being ruthless about calendar management can be very freeing. Learn to say no as much as you say yes. - Hanneke Smits
Feedback is a gift. - Hanneke Smits
Thinking through the transferability of the aspects of your skills is critical when you get to a fork in the road. It’s how you build on from what you’ve learned. - Hanneke Smits
Q: What book has greatly influenced you?
A: Snow Windows and Travelers in the Third Reich (not favorites but current reads)
Q: What is your favorite inspiring quote or saying?
A: Feedback is a gift.
Q: What is one word or moniker you would use to describe yourself?
A: Direct Truth Teller
Q: What is one change you've implemented that made your life better?
A: Being ruthless about calendar management.
Q: What power song would you want playing as you walk out onto a stage?
A: Saturday Night Fever.
Hanneke Smits is Senior Executive Vice President and Global Head of Investment Management and a member of BNY Mellon’s Executive Committee.
With over 30 years of investment experience, Hanneke was previously CEO of Newton Investment Management, a BNY Mellon Investment Management firm, from 2016 to 2020. Prior to Newton, she served on the Executive Committee at private equity firm Adams Street Partners from 2001 to 2014, having been Chief Investment Officer from 2008 to 2014. She joined Adams Street in 1997 to build out its global investment capabilities, and successfully launched its presence in Europe and Asia. Before joining Adams Street, she was an investment manager at Pantheon Ventures, and worked for Philips China Hong Kong Group.
Hanneke is the Global Chair of the 30% Club, a role she assumed in February 2023. Additionally, Hanneke is the Executive Sponsor for PRISM, BNY Mellon’s LGBTQ+ Employee Resource Group and serves as Chair of Impetus, a venture philanthropy organization that backs charities to transform the lives of disadvantaged young people. As part of her role with Impetus, she is Trustee of the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), founded in 2011 by The Sutton Trust in partnership with Impetus. Hanneke was also a Non-Executive Director to the Court of the Bank of England, and a co-founder and first Chair of Level 20, a not-for-profit organization set up in 2015 to inspire women to join and succeed in the private equity industry.
Originally from the Netherlands, Hanneke has a BBA from Nijenrode University and an MBA from the London Business School.