As we celebrate women’s achievements across various sectors on the occasion of International Women’s Day, we thought we’d share with you the insight from some of our female executives into how they were able to achieve their career goals.
Over the past three years, between 2013 and 2015, Samsung led a campaign to reach out to young women in Korea by inviting female executives at various Samsung affiliates to share their experiences of building careers and the lessons learned on the way.
From an advertising executive who became the youngest juror for the world’s largest ad awards, to an R&D expert whose research contributed to extending smartphone battery life, a total of 12 Samsung executives engaged in intimate dialogue during the campaign with young women who hope to forge successful careers of their own.
Vice President Se-Young Jang, who leads the Advanced Component Technology Group at Samsung Electronics’ mobile division, talked about how she overcame old stereotypes that women aren’t fit for R&D work. She played a critical role in developing technology that extends battery life inside a slim smartphone.
“Being a woman was my biggest strength,” she told an audience of more than 1,000 last November in the last lecture of the campaign. “My ability to see things differently and to be more flexible was in fact what helped break the stereotype that women can’t survive in the R&D sector.”
In another lecture, Vice President Maria Chung, another engineer executive at Samsung SDS talked about the importance of believing in your own self for achieving your goals.
“A bird sitting on a branch doesn’t worry about the branch breaking. Not because it believes the branch won’t break, but because it believes in its wings,” she said. “You should all have confidence in yourself and spread out your wings. Your way will be the way.”
The event was sometimes held in more intimate settings over meals, where guests could engage in direct conversation with the female Samsung executives. At one such dinner in 2013, Vice President Hyewon Oh at our advertising affiliate Cheil Worldwide tried to answer the question on the minds of all of the guests, who were in their first year of job after graduation: “What if this job isn’t the right one for me?”
“If the job isn’t right for you, you will know it and the time will come when you need to act on it,” said Oh, who was the youngest to become a juror at Cannes Lions in 2006. “Enjoy this moment of learning instead of worrying about something that hasn’t happened yet.”
Senior Vice President KyungHee Park at Samsung Securities advises to remember “3 P’s and 1 E” in building your career: Pride, Passion, Professionalism and Endurance.
“There are many people who have pride, passion and professionalism. The key differentiator is endurance. This is the most difficult, yet the most important factor. You need to be able to endure difficulties until you are able to overcome those challenges and reach your goals.”