Celebrating Women in Leadership: Natasha Sampson is at the Helm of Human Resources and Tshegofatso Moeng is Shattering the Glass Ceiling in Sales.
At Optimi, we believe in an inclusive approach to leadership, and one way we practice this is by affording fair opportunities to those that are deserving. To celebrate Women’s Month, we are shining the spotlight on women within the Optimi family who are making strides in their respective lines of work.
We sat down with our Head of Human Resources at Optimi Group, Natasha Sampson, to find out what she finds challenging in her leadership role as a woman of colour, what lessons and highlights she can share, and what she finds fulfilling in her role.
Reflecting on her career path leading up to her current role as Head of HR, Natasha shares that it took a lot of determination and resilience, but also admits that she was fortunate to have had an incredible support system along the way, affording her opportunities that later opened doors for her to grow in ways beyond her imagination. Here’s how she answered some of the questions:
1. Do you encounter any challenges being a woman of colour in your role of leadership?
“I have certainly been underestimated and undermined as a woman of colour but I decided early on to use that as a teacher and not an inhibitor. I choose to anchor myself to my purpose and that has allowed me to persevere.”
2. Now that’s a winning attitude! Being the head of a department can’t be an easy task; do you experience any resistance when leading men?
“Not at all! It is a privilege to lead a diverse team. We all work towards a common goal and have the same passion to add real value to the businesses we support.”
3. The world demands so much from women. How do you balance your personal and professional responsibilities?
“I find balance by learning to be fully present wherever I am. When I am at work, I give that my complete focus. When I am home with my daughter, I make sure to give her my full attention. I have taken on too much at some stage of my life and it left me feeling depleted and demotivated.”
Although sales is a male-dominated field, Tshego explains that the best part about her job is making positive contributions and challenging the notions about what women can accomplish in a previously male-dominated industry.
1. What would you say are some of the biggest challenges you have faced as a woman in your career leading up to your current role?
“I have faced numerous challenges, from being overlooked for promotions to blatant exclusions solely based on my gender. This has been very uncomfortable to go through, but it is important to never forget your worth during such times.”
2. Do you ever find yourself having to prove your capabilities because you are a woman?
“Yes, this has been a norm for me throughout life and this has been amplified in my career. In the sales environment, it is believed that women often do not possess the same level of expertise as their male counterparts. I’ve had to work smarter and sometimes harder just to demonstrate my skill and knowledge.”
3. What advice would you give the next generation of female leaders?
“Your voice matters, so speak up because you deserve to be heard. Find yourself a mentor and never stop learning but, most importantly, remember that authenticity is your superpower.”
We proudly celebrate our women in leadership. Both Natasha and Tshego have a wealth of experience in their respective fields and are ready to pass the baton of skills and knowledge to other young aspiring leaders through their mentoring and leadership.