Samina Khalid, Marketing Communications Manager, Renishaw India
I am leading the marketing department in Renishaw India and responsible for the development of marketing plans, preparing budget and formulation of strategies for the market and ensuring alignment with the Marketing strategies. I am completely responsible for developing effective marketing materials and maintaining a pro-active relationship with customers, employees, media and the global community to create brand awareness.
Even if being a woman in your business sector may be an issue to some customers, don’t let it be one to you. In business, you set the tone by being a competent professional, so you establish yourself as someone qualified to get the job done and let that speak for itself
When I started my career 11 years back, I had an opportunity to start at the marketing department for my previous company (Haas Automation- Phillips Corporation). The learning curve started from there and has no end. I found it extremely interesting as there are various marketing platforms to use but not all available to us. And the challenge starts from doing the right thing to right people, at the right time.
Again, in Renishaw got an opportunity to do a lot of creative stuff and test how it works in this industry. During this journey I realized that it’s second to none and decided to make a career in the industry, which Challenges me.
Engineering really isn’t about hard hats and rulers any more. There’s so much embedded in our culture saying engineering isn’t for girls, and people still think of engineers as the men who fix your washing machine, not the people at the forefront of designing creative solutions to the world’s problems.
We’re at the cusp of a technology revolution, and engineering is at the forefront of that. I love the variety and excitement—having individual creativity whilst working effectively as a team. That I get to lead, I get to make decisions. I’m empowered to come up with solutions and innovate. Every day is different. We’re creating the utilities of the future and I am part of it.
Not really, there were times and even now when I am the only women on the event set up. Or may be the first one to step in the exhibition hall. Initially, people used to look at me like an alien working at odd hours and sometimes the expo heads used to come and ask me to leave for the day but now I guess they all are used to seeing me.
Still I am the only women in an event with 150 male members around, but it never bothers me. I found this industry extremely safe with good people.
As a woman in a male-dominated industry, I often get asked about how I deal with that issue. I respond that the barriers for women in business are much less today than 10 years ago. And even if being a woman in your business sector may be an issue to some potential customers, don’t let it be one to you. In business, you set the tone by being a competent professional, so you establish yourself as someone qualified to get the job done and let that speak for itself. I truly believe women are natural leaders and entrepreneurs. So, grow your business based on your skill sets and your brain. As women, we have a lot of both!
I guess there are many reasons-
First of all, hire them which many companies are reluctant. The mindset that why to hire a women employee in sales or marketing in manufacturing as they must travel a lot and then who will take care of them and their time restrictions. In fact, after 7 years in my current company one gentlemen applauded me by saying that you have broken the barrier and the mindset of many people who are reluctant to hire women in this industry. Next step should be motivating and giving them opportunity to prove themselves.
Engineering is probably one of the most creative professions you could ever choose. Try and encourage them to explore and support all options. Even if their talents don’t seem to match – say, for instance, they’re artistic – well, engineers are allowed to be artistic, too! Engineering isn’t a ‘pure’ subject. It’s wide and varied where everything overlaps, and it doesn’t close doors to talents.
Be prepared to spot growth opportunities when they present themselves because they are the key learning opportunities. You’ll know because they make you uncomfortable, and your initial impulse may be that you’re not ready. But remember: Growth and comfort never co-exist.
Always take on new challenges even if you are not ready for it. Take criticism seriously, but not personally. If there is truth or merit in the criticism, try to learn from it. Otherwise, let it roll right off you. Continuous learning leads to continuous improvement. Commit yourself to advancing your knowledge, skills, and expertise. The business environment is quickly changing, and your understanding of the leading practices, thinking, and emerging tools will help you manage for better results. Be a lifelong student.
I can never be with ‘done’ attitude; I always try and go against the grain. As soon as I accomplish one thing, I just set a higher goal. That’s how I’ve gotten to where I am.
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