Telkom’s Executive Brand and Consumer Marketer, Masingita Mazibuko’s greatest ambition is to create space where future women leaders have the ability to change the landscape in corporate.
Mazibuko possesses extensive knowledge and experience previously working with Unilever and PepsiCo across brand building, shopper marketing and marketing transformation.
Five months ago, Mazibuko joined Telkom and is enjoying her learning experience with the telecommunications provider.
As a sport lover and former university netball player, Mazibuko is ecstatic to be part of the 2021 Momentum gsport Awards campaign as Telkom partnered the Woman of the Year category.
Speaking with Celine Abrahams, Mazibuko reveals the challenges women face in corporate and shares advice to young girls who aspire to be in leadership positions.
Masingita, thank you for taking time out to chat to gsport. For the benefit of our readers, please introduce yourself and what you do career-wise.
I am Masingita Mazibuko, I am the Executive Brand and Consumer Marketer at Telkom in the Consumer Business.
Please tell us about your career journey – where did it all begin and how you got to Telkom?
I am a marketer with experience largely in FMCG at Unilever and PepsiCo across Beauty, Foods and Homecare. My career in FMCG spanned across Brand building, shopper marketing and marketing transformation. I have also worked in consulting as a Brand strategist in the Added Value Group and independently with various blue-chip companies and in direct selling as a Marketing Director at Avroy Shlain Cosmetics. I recently as of five months ago joined Telkom.
Was it always your dream to get into the corporate world?
My passion lies with people and behavioural economics. A corporate career has afforded me the opportunity to deepen my understanding in human behaviour not only the customers we serve but also working in matrix environment of corporate environment, where one learns how to engage with people and gets exposed to people from a diversity of backgrounds. It is when one engages with others that they find the beat of their own drum and can be uniquely themselves in the world.
What has been the most fulfilling part working with the Telkom brand?
The brand’s purpose is to leave no person behind. This is inspiring internally and externally because one’s compass is informed by making an impact to customers’ lives and internally. I am inspired by everyone through working with people with variety of experiences. It means one is always growing whilst making an impact.
What are some of your highlight projects that you have worked on?
It is early days and already been an immense learning experience. This is a new industry for me, so getting stuck in ensuring access to home connectivity for all has been great, more especially given that with lockdown many are homebound. The reality is we live in an information age and ensuring that everyone access is critical for holistic development.
I enjoy sports and love that Telkom Netball is part of my portfolio. I played netball at school, university and socially when I started working so it is really exciting to part of Netball again. Telkom’s partnership is striving to shine a spotlight on women in sport and this is a clear passion point of mine.
We know being a woman in corporate comes with challenges. What has been some of your biggest challenges to date?
I would say the important thing I have learnt about being woman in corporate is to lean into your own, being ourselves and not underestimating what we bring to the table. Diversity is important and varying perspectives are needed to drive growth. I have been fortunate to have leaders that have given me that space allowing me to lean on my strengths and be my authentic self. Often we feel we must play a role, we just must show up fully.
What advice would you give to young girls who aspire to work in corporate one day?
To show up, lean in and be open to challenges. Additionally, maintain a curious mindset. Take your time to ensure you have depth of experience. The depth of experience becomes your confidence when faced with challenges.
Telkom partnered the 2021 Momentum gsport Awards for the initiative’s 16th edition of the awards. What does it mean to you to be part of this campaign?
Being an active woman and lover of sports, I feel that representation is important. Telkom’s involvement is important because it opens the window to the talents out there who will be inspired and ultimately make a difference in this world. In addition, sport is a great unifier and enabler, so it made sense that Telkom be part of gsport because this ensures representation and access to all.
How can the media better support women who are breaking barriers on and off the field and in leadership positions?
It is important that we continue the need for representation and give opportunities because what people see and hear has great power. There is a need for continued normalisation of women in sport. Panels need to be diverse regardless of whether a sport code is regarded male or female.
What is your greatest career ambition?
To create a space where future leaders feel they have the ability to change the landscape by impacting people in a positive manner and contributing positively to society at large.
Photo 1 Caption: Executive Brand and Consumer Marketing at Telkom, Masingita Mazibuko, pictured at the 2021 Momentum gsport Awards on Tuesday, 31 August 2021. Photo: gsport