#CareerFocus With Udita Shroff – Regional Head of Marketing Cathay Pacific Airways

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1. Tell us a bit about yourself?

I am Udita Shroff – a marketing professional who has been working for Cathay Pacific for over 7 years. I enjoy all things creative and like exploring new places and playing board games in my spare time. 

2. What work do you do?  

I am responsible for the Marketing and Communication strategy for Cathay Pacific in South Asia, Middle East, and Africa. This also means understanding local consumer nuances and positioning the brand according to their needs so we can deliver based on what is important to them. 

3. How long have you been in the industry?

It’s been over 13 years in the field of marketing, working with different organisations along the way.

4. Has your work always been your passion? Tell us why?

I have always enjoyed planning communication strategies and travelling. And I’m grateful that I’ve landed a job which is a perfect combination of both. At Cathay Pacific, I have the opportunity to think creatively, out of the box and also spend time exploring different geographies to understand our consumers. Couldn’t have asked for more!

5. Being a woman in the industry – what does it take?

I believe it takes drive to succeed. Not only in aviation but in any industry. Not only as a lady but also for a man. It’s about the willingness to challenge yourself to grow personally which in turn leads to professional growth.

Thankfully, I haven’t experienced gender bias in my career. In fact, Cathay Pacific has only shown immense confidence in me and offered me multiple opportunities to grow. At Cathay Pacific, platforms like the Gender Equity Network form a big part of what we do. With more than 70 different nationalities represented at Cathay, along with multiple generations, religious beliefs, gender and sexual identities, the General Equity Network – an internal group of volunteers working behind the scenes, ensures that there is no disparity. Additionally, here in South Africa, our passenger travel and cargo businesses are led by two very strong women. 

6. What has been the most difficult challenge of your career?

I took a gap year to start something of my own. While it gave me an opportunity to hone my creative skills, I didn’t enjoy it enough to make it my profession. Making that decision of taking a gap and joining the corporate world again was a difficult one to make. I did this trial in the first few years of my career, which helped me realise very early on where my interests lie. 

7. What advice do you have for other women in your industry?

For women in my industry or any other work environment, I would say; have complete faith in your potential. Often, we tend to doubt ourselves because of the society around us, but if we build immense confidence, we can achieve anything. 

8. Plans for the future?

I would love to explore more geographies in the future and strengthen my leadership skills along the way.