How to be a FinTech ‘Superwoman’ — Dinner with Maaike Steinebach, General Manager, Hong Kong and Macau, Visa

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Dinner with Maaike raised 103 volunteer hours

Sometimes the most meaningful and inspiring conversations happen over casual meals. The Time Auction Blog is a snippet of our meetings with people who have found passion in their life and career.

As said by Simon Sinek, “A boss has the title, a leader has the people”. This quote sums up the working mindset and spirit of Maaike Steinebach. Her can-do attitude and respect for colleagues demonstrate good leadership at its finest. Sitting at the helm of Visa Hong Kong and Macau, one has to master the art of balance. And success, as she puts it, is determined by the age-old adage which is to ‘think out of the box’.

Who is Maaike Steinebach?

Maaike is Visa’s General Manager for Hong Kong and Macau. In her current position, Maaike’s responsibilities are vast and diverse. She is at the helm of the full business operations, strategy development, and management of Visa’s businesses in two regions.

Maaike left her footprint all over the world, but a life-changing experience in the South by Southwest conference (SXSW) influenced her decision to shift her focus to financial services. She brought with her a wealth of knowledge accumulated from 20 years in the banking field to Visa.

Noticing the lack of awareness in the business field for female professionals, Maaike became a founding member of Women in Tech HK and Women Chief Executive Group HK. She candidly shares stories that prompted the creation of these communities.

“CEOs would hold lunches at each other’s offices, while bringing along a female colleague.”

The habit began as a method to connect female CEOs, but it became a fully-fledged community for female professionals to seek mentorship and grow together.

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Treasuring ‘Me’

It’s no secret that being a successful career woman, wife and mother requires a lot of sacrifices. To put it simply, Maaike’s life is analogous to juggling six plates. One for her children, husband, job, family, and friends. Notice something missing?

“Putting yourself first is not ‘natural’ — as a mother, you take care of your own children and as a CEO, you take care of your employees”

For a very long time, Maaike did not prioritize herself above other responsibilities. With that in mind, she took matters into her own hands. Maaike told us that her current state of health and performance at work is heavily supplemented by a regimented lifestyle.

Optimizing your potential

When we asked Maaike about her daily routine, she reveals that her day usually begins at 6 AM and ends at 11 PM.

“To perform at your peak, you must also need time to recover”

She would spend an hour at the gym before her working hours and is an avid cross-harbor swimming competitor.

Want to perform at the same level as Maaike? Be in good shape both mentally , physically and strive to be your best self every day.

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Breaking free from invisible barriers

“With a lot of things in life, we create obstacles (for ourselves).”

As recommended by Maaike, Leadership and Self-Deception: Getting out of the box is a book that redefines problem-solving. We can be the problem, but also the key to the solution.


15 years ago, a Dutch expat lept out of her comfort zone and into an airplane that landed in Singapore. The newly arrived CEO had a strong determination to prove her worth in the new local environment, but she was trapped in the box of cognitive biases.

“I thought as a CEO, I needed to show I had everything under control whilst in reality, I just needed to be myself.”

Like the heroine of her story, Maaike tapped into her vibrant, vivacious personality and developed her own philosophy on being a successful CEO — to own your power and stay true to yourself.

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Thank you so much to Maaike for having us at the Visa office and raising 103 volunteer hours to charities such as Food Angel, Books and Beyond Reading Club and more! We would also like to thank our photographer Steve from Kachick!

To see our upcoming experiences, head over to the Time Auction website!

This article originally appeared on our blog on Medium:

Updated on 8 April, 2021
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