Wednesday 12 December 2018

Samsung's most senior female exec calls on other women to challenge tech industry's status quo

Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg
Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg

Martyn Landi

One of Samsung's most senior female members of staff has called on other women to "challenge the status quo" in the technology industry.

The Korean tech giant's chief marketing officer YH Lee said she has noticed a growth in the number of senior female executives in recent years, and hopes to see it continue.

"When I first joined Samsung in 2007, I was the only female executive in the mobile business," she said.

"Even before, when I worked for a global cosmetic company, it is very rare to see female executives at a high-level position.

"We have seen a great increase in senior female leaders since then and now Samsung has a strong presence of remarkably talented female management.

"The increase of more and more female executives is exciting, and I hope that we see even more women in leadership roles in the future - not just at Samsung but across the industry."

Overall, women in senior roles remain a rarity in the tech sector, something that been attributed to a range of factors across different age groups.

According to women's advocate group Women in Tech, just 17% of technology industry workers in the UK are female, with many pointing to a need to encourage more girls into STEM subjects while still at school, showing them the sector's viability as a career choice.

Ms Lee said it is important for young women to become experts in their field in order to reach the higher levels of the industry.

"For young, female professionals who want to grow further, my advice is simple; to become experts in their area regardless of their gender," she said.

"I hope to see more women colleagues achieve their full potential and strive to achieve higher responsibilities. I encourage young women just starting out to bring themselves, their own personality, and to challenge the status quo."

Within the fast-moving world of technology, artificial intelligence and connected smart homes are being increasingly discussed - an area Ms Lee believes Samsung is well placed to succeed in the years to come.

"With our diverse product portfolio and business scale, we are uniquely positioned to bring a truly connected AI platform to life," she said.

"Samsung is the only company in the world with full product categories across technology sectors, from semiconductors to home appliances to network equipment."

The firm has pledged to make all its devices connected by 2020, and can already count smart ovens, fridges and washing machines among its smart appliances alongside smartphones and tablets.

"Our strength lies in our ability to listen to our customers, to provide a vast line of product offerings, and to connect AI services across our entire line of products," Ms Lee added.

"Our business strengths reach beyond product portfolio and scale. Through the SmartThings app, SmartThings Cloud and Bixby, we're working to build an IoT platform that promises an intelligent and seamless experience for a truly connected living."

Last month the company confirmed it is working on its first smart speaker - the Galaxy Home - which will look to challenge the likes of the Amazon Echo, Google Home and Apple HomePod, which have led a large increase in the number of smart devices appearing in homes.

One in 10 UK homes now own a smart device, and with firms such as Samsung placing more focus on the device area, that figure is likely to increase in years to come.

Online Editors

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