On Friday, March 5th Khadija Nadi, CEO of DeltaQ, was a guest on the Belgian television show, De Markt, on VRT NWS. For the occasion of International Women’s Day Khadija, as a female leader of an emerging international tech company, was invited to talk about women at the top, the benefits of diversity and recruiting talent.
First, Khadija explains what DeltaQ does and means for a business. Also why she chose to make the switch from working for multinational AkzoNobel to a scale-up in Brussels.
“I made the switch for two reasons. First, I wanted to make an impact. I wanted to be an entrepreneur myself in a socially responsible manner. And second, being in the lead of a company makes it possible to make a change and you are able to see it much more clearly than while working in a bigger team – even though I had a management position at AkzoNobel.”
Women in leadership positions are important because this is part of diversity
Then they talked about the reasons it is important to have more women at the top of a company.
“Its importance is much broader than having women at the top: men, women are both parts of diversity. Diversity within a company is important to get better results. I notice it myself. We have a very diverse team. When we have a problem, our people give input from very different angles. Those angles make it possible to come to better decisions and eventually better results. So diversity is about men, women, international or not, educational background. It’s about much more than men and women. For me, it is all about diversity.”
Companies need a mentality switch
Next, Khadija was asked if companies need to be convinced of having more women in leadership positions. Khadija states that she thinks companies already see the importance of having women at the top, but women have to trust their own capabilities as well and break the idea of a glass ceiling. Besides that, there is a big problem in Belgium:
“There is a big problem in many Belgium companies, I think. There should be a mentality switch of thinking in results and output instead of thinking of availability and input. What I mean by that: it doesn’t matter to me when my team works and if my team has to leave, because they have to pick up the children for example. This flexibility could really improve within companies.”
The extra mile in the recruitment process
The conversation continues with Khadija’s suggestions for improving the recruitment process. In many cases, we look for candidates that are a copy of ourselves. So Khadija’s first tip is to look for people different from yourself to create more diversity within your company. And her second tip is about better looking at resumes because women tend to undersell themselves.
“You should go the extra mile to meet more people, talk to more applicants. At DeltaQ we have more, but shorter interviews.”
Better decisions, solutions and results
To summarize: it is an interesting, visionary interview with Khadija with applicable advice to build diversity within your company to come to better decisions, solutions, and results. To watch the full interview (in Dutch) check out VRT.be.