The HARMAN team is always honored to find an opportunity to recognize the achievements of women and throughout International Women’s Week, we’ve been sharing our special Insights Series, featuring interviews with five dynamic women working at HARMAN. I enjoyed getting to meet and interview Sara Morgan, Lead Marketing Specialist for HARMAN’s Lifestyle Audio Division and welcome you to join me in celebrating her accomplishments by reading her story.
Q: Sara, you have been nominated for being an outstanding woman employee at HARMAN. Please tell us your story.
A. I am super honored to be nominated! I was working for one of HARMAN’s customers – Guitar Center for the last 10.5 years before taking up my current role with Lifestyle’s marketing team at HARMAN. I have learned a ton here at HARMAN and it’s been such a great company to work for and really a dream come true. I think there is a good interaction between brands and I have worked across several brands at HARMAN.
Q: Do you have a role model? Who is it and why?
A. This probably sounds incredibly cliche, but my role model is definitely my mother. She worked more than 30 years in journalism, which is a very demanding career while raising two kids as a single mom. She also managed to obtain her graduate degree during this time. I don’t know how she did it, she must have never slept! She is everything I hope to be as an adult. She is incredibly brave and hard working. I often tell people that if I am half the woman that my mother is, I’d consider my life a success.
Q: Marketing is a demanding area of work. How has Harman empowered you to become successful?
A: I love working in marketing because I have been a musician and it allows me to put on a creative lens and solve challenges looking at things from an artistic perspective. Working at HARMAN has been empowering since I work with so many brilliant and creative individuals that have the same goal and have different life experiences. It has enabled me to work harder, smarter, look at things from a different perspective, and consider things that are out of the box that could potentially push HARMAN ahead of the competition.
Q: What are some strategies that can help women achieve more prominent role at Harman?
A: I believe that women should take an active role to advance themselves, not only in their careers, but also in life in general. I have been fortunate here in the past two years to have amazing mentors, particularly my supervisor Frank Joseph. I’m constantly surrounded by intelligent women and men, so taking that first step and approaching them to learn what drives them and how they made it this far in their career and discussing best practices would help us. Identifying other prospective mentors and even friends at HARMAN is key for women that are trying to advance their careers and move themselves forward.
Q: What are some traits you think great leaders possess?
A: I think that the single greatest trait that a great leader could have is their ability to actively listen and to wait until done to speak. We all have two ears and one mouth for a reason and I think great leaders have figured out that if you listen to what others have to say, it will ultimately lead to things much farther. This is also a common trait I find at HARMAN and have experienced it first hand while in meetings with our executive leadership, Dinesh Paliwal and Ralph Santana. I admire it.
Q: Have you encountered any gender specific challenges or obstacles in your career?
A: Absolutely! Coming from music retail, a male driven business, early on in my career, I have always felt that I have to be twice as smart, work twice as hard and work twice as many hours as my male counterparts in order to be taken seriously. It is definitely changing and especially in the wake of the #metoo movement. Lifestyle has an incredibly diverse marketing team, here in the US and a vast majority of them is women. The culture and experience is very inclusive.
Q: We are constantly making things better, faster, smarter or less expensive. We leverage technology to improve processes. Tell us about a recent project or problem where you leveraged this principle and how it helped the outcome.
A: The trade marketing team that I am currently a part of is very heavily involved in executing merchandising projects for some of our key customers. Our team creates many of the point of sale displays at our key customers such as Walmart, Target, and Best Buy. We have worked with our display manufacturers and procurement teams to create a support system for our retail partners in the event something goes wrong on the point of sale display. In order to avoid missed opportunity, the system that we created allows the customer to create a ticket to the manufacturer directly. The missing or malfunctioning component can be sent to the retail customer overnight and have it replaced quickly. This reduces the downtime and mitigates the risk of them not working when our customers try them out. By creating this new intake process via this system, we have been able to get much higher visibility level to such issues and cut the downtime to virtually nothing.
Thank you for reading Sara’s story. If you would like to share your thoughts on the celebration of the accomplishments of women at HARMAN, please feel free to share below in Leave a Reply. And be sure to check back tomorrow for another profile as we continue to celebrate International Women’s Week.