Passing the torch to the next generation of societal leaders

Bold Woman Award Winner: Meet Amélie Matton

The second edition of the Bold Woman Award by Veuve Cliquot has awarded the Bold Woman Award to Amélie Matton, 40u40 Autumn Fellow. Amélie is the CEO of Ecosteryl, a Walloon company treating medical waste worldwide.
Amélie receiving her Bold Woman Award
Amélie Matton has received the Bold Woman Award for her work as CEO of Ecosteryl.

1. What is your journey and how did it lead to the Bold Future Awards?

My journey started as a commercial engineer, who finished her studies in Leuven with a specialization in the environment. After my studies, I wanted to combine my desire to work for the environment while having the opportunity to experience new adventures.

Since I was a child, I have always had a taste for discovering new cultures, traveling, and for the unknown. This is probably because I spent my early years in Africa with a father who worked abroad most of the time.

At the end of my studies, when I was rather destined to work in the Big Four, I came across AMB (Atelier Mécaniques du Borinage), a family company that was active in Wallonia in the boiler-making and mining industry. The company was transitioning to medical waste treatment and that is why it got my attention.

What I liked immediately was that everything had yet to be done. I first worked in the company as an intern to create an office in Montreal. After the internship, I stayed in the company and went on to develop a sales department to get the product known, but also to attract funding.

It is part of my personal mission to show that Wallonia is also a region of innovation and successful entrepreneurial endeavours. So, it is very symbolic to me to be awarded this prestigious pride in Antwerp.

2. How did you become the CEO of the company and what do you like about this position?

When my daughter was born, I wanted to slow down on the amount of traveling I was doing. At that stage, I knew the product, the technology, and the company quite well, so I agreed to take over a more technical department, more outside my comfort zone. This allowed me to really broaden my knowledge of the company and one thing led to another and I became an administrator, a shareholder, and now CEO.

What I like about the CEO position is the role you have in the company’s culture. I am by nature very optimistic, and this is something that is very useful in this job. Indeed, any challenge or limit is an opportunity to be more creative and find the opportunities that are hidden.

What I like, of course, is not only to be a CEO but CEO of Ecosteryl. I represent a company that wants to eradicate a global environmental problem and is recognized by the United Nations and the World Bank. It is very motivating to see the purpose behind my work.

Together with the Autumn 2021 Fellows, Amélie Matton met with Prime Minister De Croo in September 2022.

3. How does 40u40 help you as a young leader?

Being part of Belgium’s 40 under 40 has allowed me to reconnect with Belgian entrepreneurs. Professionally, Ecosteryl is very focused on export, so I wanted to reconnect with the local ecosystem. These new connections and the exchanges I had were a huge source of energy and inspiration.

As a 40u40 Fellow, I also had access to coaching, mentoring, training, and talks that are often not available in SMEs. 40u40 is a mix between a diverse community and a personal development training. And that’s what I needed at this stage of my professional career.

Finally, my experience as a Fellow gave me more confidence. There I found a lot of entrepreneurial friends and especially women entrepreneurs, who are not afraid to be ambitious.

4. Do you have any advice for young women who want to develop projects and have an impact?

I think my first piece of advice is to dare. Dare to go towards the unknown, off the beaten track. Today, I am rewarded for having gone into an industrial world, often very masculine. If back then I had listened to reason, I would surely have made a very different choice, but I would not have discovered the passion that I have today.

Ecosteryl is directed by four administrators: Amélie Matton, Olivier, Romain and Philippe Dufrasne.

The importance of the network is also very often underestimated, especially for women. At first, I felt uncomfortable going to networking events. But later, I discovered that it could be very rewarding. Every personal or professional connection is someone who can give you new ideas and support you when there are lows.

Finally, the last piece of advice I would give is to not be afraid of failure and to dare to go where you are not expected. Down the line, you might surprise even yourself.


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