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Samantha Sakr and Sharon Williams

How Samantha Sakr is inspiring the growth of other women in the Company

I am so proud to lead and be a part of a company that has grown and championed women since its inception. Almost 30 years in business, Taurus Marketing has a legacy of empowering women, starting from when Sharon Williams founded the business and reached out to hire part-time mums.   

Now, as the torch is in my hands, keeping the legacy alive while adding my own touch is important. As a leader and colleague, it’s crucial to actively support and inspire the growth of women within the company and even those throughout our Taurus network. 

Here are some of my tips to empower women and all individuals in an organisation: 

  1. Core Value Alignment 

When building or growing a team, having people in the company with the right skills and experience can make good common sense…but it doesn’t always make good business sense. Hiring based on core values is about building a cohesive team of individuals who share a common set of beliefs, principles and aspirations. When every team member aligns with the company’s core values, it fosters a culture of natural collaboration, empowerment, loyalty, commitment and teamship as well as innovation and excellence, driving organisational success. Qualities that can’t often be taught.

To inspire well, I think you must personally feel inspired, and I feel that every day with my team. Every single team member is their own success story and all their hard work, commitment and loyalty to the company and me never goes unnoticed. If I could describe our current culture, it’s calm, focussed, empowering, collaborative and supportive. I can hands-down put that to the mutual core values and respect each team member has for each other. 

  1. Transition from formal mentorship programs to an everyday mentoring approach 

While formal programs offer structured guidance, frequent and consistent mentoring provides more personalised and continuous support. Or as I call it “on-the-job mentoring and ongoing training.”

With my team, my main initiative is to drive personal success for each individual by implementing a proactive approach. Every team member is assisted to help them craft personal plans tailored to their unique needs, including personal development initiatives, sales Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), client success outcomes, networking and team culture. 

Each month, we reassess goals and expectations, ensuring alignment with individual aspirations and organisational objectives. During dedicated and regular 1-on-1 sessions, whether in the office or at preferred informal locations such as a cafe or at Barangaroo wharf, we delve deep into personal and professional growth, addressing any barriers and fostering a culture of continuous learning. Through intentional learning sessions and ongoing support, every team member is empowered to contribute meaningfully to the company’s success, regardless of their location or role within the organisation. When you give this process your focus, I know you will notice the growth and development of individuals within the company. 

  1. Understand individual career goals and aspirations 

Everyone has their own journey, and it’s a mutual responsibility for them to share that when we have 1on1 mentoring sessions as well as a leadership duty to understand what everyone’s end game is and then contribute where and how we can. Not every woman wants to be a leader, some may want to be, but others may want to be great team players and executors – it’s not a right or wrong approach. It’s all about understanding where my team of women want to be, then helping them grow and mentoring them from there. Each team member is then set up well for their individual outcomes that are expected to be achieved (and set by them) to contribute to overall success – no matter where they’re working from. 

  1. Flexibility matters 

It’s very interesting and exciting to see how the modern workplace is evolving. I keep an eye quite closely, but I don’t necessarily always implement what’s trending. I tend to implement what my team at the given time value and want. Workplace mandates should be fit for purpose. Have a look at your team – who values WFH? Are they mums who need flexible work hours? Do they prefer being in the office? Is commuting and travel a barrier for them? 

For my current team, it’s a hybrid approach. We all value the in-office culture, collaboration, team lunches and coffee runs as well as a nice balance for a heads-down and mental health work-from-home day. Taurus has been offering WFH days way before COVID and hybrid was always our model. We also enjoy team offsites every quarter and take the team overnight somewhere beautiful to treat them and work on quarterly plans. 

  1. Age diversity is key 

We have a team that’s a mix of “young blood, old minds” – which is our tagline to describe the Taurus culture. What does that mean?  Taurus is a mix of energetic and emerging, deadline-focused Account Managers to a mature, established team of consultants who have 30-plus-years’ experience. So it’s not only about being inspired by me – it’s getting the team really to collaborate with each other. Diversity brings more insights to the team and it’s a cultural and personal career superpower. 

As a leader, I want a team with a focus on genuine output, care for the business and our customers, outcomes and initiative. I look at aspects such as how they view the company – do they care or do they not? Do they have an entrepreneurial mindset and care for the business as their own? Are they core-value aligned? Are they engaged or doing the bare minimum? Do they go above and beyond?

So if I’ve learnt anything about leadership, inspiring the growth of other women in the company all comes down to how successful you are at creating an environment that encourages, facilitates and supports the development of women at all levels, ages and roles. 

We enrich Taurus with diverse perspectives and talents. It’s an honour to continue to champion the advancement of women within our company and harness the culture Sharon built. I hope this year’s IWD brings attention to all leaders to emphasise the importance of women and all individuals being treated with value, support and empowered to thrive in every workplace, ensuring a brighter, more equitable future for all.

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Samantha Sakr

Samantha Sakr

Samantha Sakr is Managing Director at integrated PR and marketing agency Taurus Marketing (Taurus). Samantha joined the Company as an intern and was given the role of Managing Director role in just 6 years.

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