Director Aviation Marketing, Cargo, and Customer Experience, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol: Maaike van der Windt

Maaike heads up the Aviation Marketing, Cargo, and Customer Experience department at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. She has spent her entire working life in the aviation industry, including several years at Brisbane Airport Corporation in Australia. She believes diversity is a key component for successful leadership and team cohesion, and that embracing digital technology is the future of pharma logistics.

How important is collaboration in your professional life?

For me, collaboration is key in both my professional and personal life. I find it energising to be around other people and to work with others to achieve a mutual goal or a joint vision.

How often do you collaborate with others?

In my role as Head of Aviation Marketing, Cargo and Customer Experience, the customer is extremely important. My key focus is ensuring that airlines, passengers and cargo providers are satisfied at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. We can only achieve that by understanding our customers’ needs and requirements, and by working together to continuously improve the way we work and operate the airport.

How do you manage collaborative relationships in business?

I think it starts by understanding each other’s business models, priorities, and context, and jointly looking for results that meet challenges, create value, and offer opportunities.

Do female leaders collaborate in a different way to male leaders? If so, how and why?

I can’t speak on behalf of other women, but my tendency is to search for harmony and collaborative approaches. I put effort into understanding my business partners and to combine their needs with my own to find an outcome that is beneficial for all parties involved. If this can’t be achieved then I focus on explaining and being frank about what is and isn’t possible.

Is there more ‘goodwill factor’ within women in business? If so, why do you think that is?

I do believe in a ‘trust’ factor, which both males and females can achieve. I believe a goodwill or trust factor is the result of good business relationships.

What is your approach to stakeholder management?

In the cargo industry we work in a few collaborative alliances with stakeholders, such as the Pharma Gateway Amsterdam and Smart Cargo Mainport Program. In order for collaborative alliances to be successful, it is very important to define a mutual and compelling goal, a joint roadmap to achieve that goal, and to ensure all stakeholders are committed to achieving the goal.

How does collaboration assist in stakeholder management?

As with customers, it is also important to understand a stakeholders’ purpose and priorities and to seek outcomes that support the stakeholders’ goals, as well as supporting your own.

Do you have additional comments?

I would like to acknowledge our customers, industry partners, and other supporters of the Smart Cargo Mainport Program, The Pharma Gateway Amsterdam, and the Holland Flower Alliance who have contributed to these programs and support us in establishing Amsterdam Airport Schiphol as Europe’s Smartest Cargo Hub.