Spotlight on Stefanie Knights

Introducing the incredible Stefanie Knights who talks to us about mentorship, the unique value women in leadership bring and the importance of prioritization.

Stefanie is the Director of Talent Management at Samsung where she’s worked for the past 10+ years. How awesome is it that someone who’s advice is ‘Do what makes you happy’ is responsible for developing, planning, and overseeing everything related to organizational development and training?

International Women's Day (1)

What quote inspires you the most?

“Well behaved women rarely make history” 

What has been the most significant barrier in your career to date?

Lack of mentorship and representation of women in influential positions to guide and support me in my career.

What is the best way to negotiate salary and scope of work?

Have a plan. Understand your plan, communicate your plan, and ask for what you deserve. In my experience, people who have a plan, whether it’s career development or career aspirations, show others you’re ambitious and that makes people take notice.

What do you think are the three most important characteristics to be an amazing leader?


How have you built confidence and/or resiliency over the course of your career?

Putting myself out there and trusting my skills and abilities. Collecting feedback and always being open to learn and know I can’t and won’t be perfect at all times and that’s OK.

Why do you think companies would benefit from having more women at the top?

Women are more open to change and embrace new ways of working as well as collaboration. This leads to innovation and can create an environment where everyone’s ideas are heard and less fear of saying the wrong thing. With this approach you are going to create a more inclusive culture and an environment where employees can bring their whole selves to work.

What is the role mentorship and sponsorship have played in your career?

I didn’t have a lot of mentorship in my career, so I’ve made it a passion of mine to mentor women at all stages of their career. It’s rewarding to see others grow and I almost always learn something new about myself when I do.

As a leader, how do you stay mindful of who’s at the table and who’s missing?

When the decisions I’m making seem too simple or easy, I know there’s a chance I’m missing something. I often look for ways to present my ideas to others for feedback, and if I’m not challenged, this tells me I need to diversify my audience.

What advice would you give to the next generation of female leaders?

Don’t look at other women as your competitors. Find ways to collaborate, hold each other up, and lend support or advice. Far too often we avoid helping other women succeed because we fear there isn’t room for all of us at the table.

How can women support other women in their organizations?

Join or start an Employee Resource Group designed to support women in your organization. Mentor, coach, and/or sponsor more junior women. And speak up! If we don’t acknowledge systemic bias or discrimination, nothing will change.

Any words of advice you’d like to share?

Life isn’t easy and women still tend to take on more of the home responsible than men. It’s OK to prioritize yourself and what makes you happy – whether that be work, family, hobbies, etc. It’s OK to prioritize those things and still be successful in your career. Burnout is real and if you’re not happy or energized, that will impact your career. Do what makes you happy.



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