How long have you been working for BSH? And what did you do before that?
I have been working for BSH for nine years. Before BSH, for many years I worked within the field of communications for leading companies holding positions such as Marketing & Communications Director, Head of Press Relations & Sponsorships & regional PR Manager.
What tasks do your current role include? How does a regular day at work look for you?
I’m Head of Corporate Communications and Social Media Officer, responsible for various countries across the Middle East, Africa and the CIS Region. I proactively define the region’s corporate communication strategy and drive this strategy by leading all external and internal communications, media relations, social media management, crisis communication, change communication and public affairs of our corporate brand. One of my important responsibilities is to support region’s leadership team and Board of Management with their internal and external public appearances, speeches and presentations.
While sipping through a cup of tea, I start my day going through my e-mails, reading the papers and checking the news to assess any corporate communication needs rising. Then I look at our social media platforms, check our posts and talk to our agencies. I usually have numerous internal and external meetings every day as there are many important and time sensitive requests from all around the region.
What are the biggest challenges that you face within your job and how do you handle them?
There are two major challenges. First, my job calls for me to work in a VUCA region – this stands for volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity. Economic turbulence or a crisis of some kind happen almost every day. That can be a bit of a roller coaster. Second, as we are a small team, it can be difficult sometimes to manage so many different priorities. Dealing with these obstacles on a daily basis has enabled us to become very flexible and agile. We are able to multi-task and act very quickly in any kind of crisis.
What were the most important goals you wanted to achieve when you started your career? How did BSH help you achieve them?
When I was in 8th grade, I became the head of “Social Affairs Club” in my school. Back then, I already knew that I would choose communication as my future profession. My goal was to become a “Strategic Communicator”. Working for companies like Intel and Accenture helped me understand the importance of communication and achieve this goal. At BSH, I’ve developed even further by working very closely with the senior management as well as scaling up my responsibility to so many countries. Plus, the importance of digitalization and innovation at BSH has helped enhance my communication skillset.
You have two children. How do you manage being there for your family while having a successful career?
I have two sons – 11 and 13 years old. They have endless energy. So it’s an everyday challenge to manage the kids, home and a challenging career at the same time. But I guess being organized, energetic and passionate is the key to this challenge. Thankfully, BSH values a good work-life balance. In the nine years that I have worked at BSH, I have always had time for my family and have been able to have a successful career at the same time.
What are your professional plans and goals for the future?
Whatever we think we know about what the future holds for us – reality is likely to prove us wrong. Exponential and transformational changes in technology and in the world make it harder to even predict developments in the next few years. In my opinion, in order to have a sustainable career, it is crucial to have a strong and dedicated mindset and be prepared for the future. Plus, one should keep herself technologically up to date. My plan is to stick to these realities yet remain agile and open up to amazing new possibilities of working. And I want to focus more on social responsibility, specifically on educating under-privileged kids in technology. I hope to reach as many of them as possible.
What kind of advice do you have for young women who are at the beginning of their career?
What I said before is valid for anyone at any career stage, but it is especially important for young women. Unfortunately, I still see a lot of gender inequality at work, in education and in social life. I believe that one of the major problems is that women still shy away from technology and science. This situation is unacceptable. That’s why I am urging young women: be science and technology girls! Work really hard to succeed in those fields! I also ask all senior managers to attract attention to this critical issue and support women wherever they can.