12 Sep Samsung Future Generation Lab: what it means to be a young woman in a corporate
During Women’s Month, Samsung put some of their female-employees’ front and centre – in celebration of the role of females within the organisation. In an effort to highlight the incredible value that each female employee has added to the company, these women were asked to share their personal experiences about the lessons they’ve learned and the wisdom they’ve gained throughout their careers.
This time, Samsung shines a spotlight on Fawziya Sofiana, the Creative Marketing Manager of the Future Generation Lab at Samsung South Africa. Comprised of Gen MZ employees, the Future Generation Lab is an exploratory marketing lab that is tasked with connecting Samsung to the next generation of African consumers.
Speaking to Fawziya Sofiana, we asked her to name a few of the main aspects of her job that excites her the most.
This is what she had to say:
” Samsung Africa’s Future Generation Lab (FGL) is part of a global initiative that aims to engage with Gen Z’ers in a way that brings about the ideation of locally relevant marketing campaigns, products, services and experiences. As a Samsung employee, I’m very impressed by the interest and emphasis that has been put in trying to understand Gen Z’ers like myself – who are potentially our primary customers in the near future. The FGL consists of 73 Samsung young employees from 10 key regions across the globe.
I am part of a contingent of young women who are FGL members – we are a group of eager ‘Samsung fans’ who love the company and its products. Also, we are enthusiastic about creating exciting marketing campaigns and social media content. This FGL collaboration aims to continuously encourage meaningful communication to understand the needs of this young population – a group believed to be the dominant premium consumer in the near future. Our day-to-day activities in the FGL are broken down into three main pillars of operation: Grassroots discovery, Campaigns and content as well as Bold experiments. I’m even more amazed by the fact that this initiative was also created to attract a group of young minds like me as employees into the Samsung business.
As a young professional who is trying to navigate my way in a corporate – this sometimes does come with its own challenges. First, it was the challenge of coming from varsity with limited experience then trying to gain the practical knowledge and make impact as quickly as possible in very fast-paced corporate environments. Now, couple that with getting into different working environments with a great deal of diversity when it comes to age gaps, different races, cultures and backgrounds. ”
Over the years, the company has created various platforms including Samsung Women in Dialogue series, the Women Technical Programme and Women in Samsung Electronics (WISE) – intended to encourage discussions around gender equality, change the male-dominated landscape of the electronics industry and ensure that women contribute greatly to the country’s Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) objectives.
At Samsung, the physical and digital worlds are seen as a seamless continuum of experiences that blend offline and online information for entertainment, commerce, and communication. We asked Fawziya Sofiana about her response when she heard that Samsung was launching and prioritising such an initiative.
Here’s what she had to say:
” Baby Boomers and Generation X can sometimes find it difficult to engage with us – the Generation Z or iGen born between 1997 – 2010, a generation that is deemed by the GetApp HR in the New Era Survey – as an optimistic, yet risk-averse group. As Gen Z’ers together with the Millennial group, we are also viewed as the first generation to have 24/7 access to the internet, connected devices, and social media since birth. This fact is true.
I felt honoured when I heard that I had been chosen to spearhead the FGL initiative alongside other brilliant, young minds in the business. My first thought was: at last! An initiative that wanted to dive deep and understand us better. Also, the fact that Samsung is putting a great deal of focus in understanding us – its employees as well; does help in making my career journey in the business a lot easier and more fulfilling.
Being involved in the FGL from its conception has exposed me to some important aspects of this initiative. This includes the Grassroots Discovery – a research stage where as a group – we compiled an actionable insights report named “Gen Z 101” based on data that we collated. This report outlines the type of marketing and sales campaigns that we – as Samsung need to get involved in to communicate better with the Gen Z’ers. This acute stage has helped us to identify and collate an activity ideas bank with Gen Z-specific marketing campaigns.
My involvement and exposure to date has proved to me just how much Samsung values the contribution that we – the young, female employees make in the business. This has definitely re-affirmed the company’s commitment to gender inclusivity. I believe that – with all the effort put into the FGL initiative – Samsung is well on its way to empowering a lot more young minds like mine inside the business and on a great path to engaging with external Gen Z’ers in an authentic and relatable way. ”