In many fields, women entrepreneurs are leading the way. In the digital marketing industry, one woman who started her business alongside her partner, is Zubeida Goolam. She has spent a greater part of her working career in the creative space and has since founded a digital-savvy marketing agency named Brandtruth//DGTL.
Zubeida "Zubi" Goolam, co-founder of Brandtruth//DGTL
Zubi as she is affectionately known, embodies black excellence, and shares her story this Women's Month.
How many years have you been working in this industry?
In total, I have been in the industry for just over 18 years.
How did you get into the industry?
I got into the industry by fate - I always knew I wanted to be in a creative industry - advertising to be precise. I just wasn't exposed to the industry because it was so niche and exclusive back in the day. And then one day I was given the opportunity to work as a receptionist at a communications company. Things started to fall into place from then on as I was introduced to the wonderful world of advertising.
What is a typical day in your life on the job?
It's changed quite drastically since we started remote working. I spend a great amount of time on video calls throughout the day, which leaves me with little time for anything else. I usually try to get in on what's happening around me since things change so fast - sometimes on a daily basis. So I check out the social networking and news sites to get a bearing on what's happening around me and in the world
What do you really love about your job and working in this sector?
I love to observe people’s behaviours and create intriguing messages based on their behaviours. I also love that I really just get to be myself every day, which means I get to bring out the best work in the people I work with. The challenge and beauty in this industry in our country is that we have such a diverse socio-economic landscape which makes for interesting storytelling.
What have been some of your most memorable achievements thus far and why?
Starting Brandtruth//DGTL and growing it to where it is right now has to be by far the biggest achievement for me. It hasn’t been an easy journey and I like that I can look back at those hardships with pride knowing that it was all worth it.
What are some of the most memorable moments you've experienced (or one in particular) working in this job?
The late nights to meet deadlines, the people I get to work with, the projects that change lives that we have had the honour of working on
From a gender balance perspective, what first struck you when you first entered the industry?
It’s a white male industry. It was that way when I started and not much has changed. Even in the transformation process I still see that it’s still skewed towards the male gender. Especially from a board and shareholding perspective, which is where all the money sits.
Are there any women working in this space (or outside of it) who you admire and why?
I love all women that are making money moves and changing the status quo. I get so excited when I see bold and strong women taking control because you can’t wait for it to be given to you, you have to take it.
Do you feel that the women in this industry stick together and share a sense of team spirit that rivals the men?
I want to answer that from across the spectrum not only in my industry - women need to start supporting each other and making the change happen. We can’t see each other as enemies because this sets us back a great deal. I see it being said so many times “women support one another” but the practice of it is a totally different story. We need to do better.
What tips would you offer youngsters and millennials who want to work in the digital industry?
There is no better time to get into this space. Be prepared to learn every day as it changes so rapidly. Be prepared to do things that you never necessarily thought you’d do because the theory is so much different from the practice.
Why do you think gender balance is crucial for companies?
Because of perspective. If you have no context of the nuances of the other gender, you can’t have great outputs. Just like race - if you have never experienced the nuances that come with something that is not a natural thing for you then you don’t have full perspective on it and you have no grounds to tell the story or represent that.
How will equality for women make corporations better for society?
You have representation from all angles which means you have a better perspective.
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