The expanding skillset: learning through growth


    Aug 27, 2020


    Rowena Lee, Signify’s Division Leader for Digital Products explains how she and her team embrace challenges and develop their skills


    When Signify’s Division Leader for Digital Products Rowena Lee started her career at Signify 21 years ago, she had no idea what was in store for her.

    As she explains, Signify’s culture created room for her to grow her career. “I joined as a product marketing manager in Shanghai. Coming from Hong Kong I wanted to experience a new culture. After a couple months I was given the opportunity to work as a black belt, and throughout my journey, every three years roughly I would have a new assignment. This motivated me to continue my path in the company.”

    This opportunity for her to branch out and experience new things was something that gave her the space not only to grow her career, but to expand her skill set.

    Rowena suit up

    Learn from each other

    The best way to learn is to challenge what you know. At Signify, employees are encouraged to learn from each other. That’s why diversity is so crucial to a team’s structure. It’s often the hidden added value based on life experience that differentiates talent; a diverse workspace in terms of age, gender, ethnicity, and sexual orientation is crucial to helping each employee realize their hidden potential.

    People these days are more and more looking for a company with purpose and values"

    As Rowena says, “Different generations have different perspectives on how the world is orchestrated, for example, people these days are more and more looking for a company with purpose and values, whereas previous generations were more concerned with their own careers and growth.”

    Challenge the status quo

    What’s most key to Rowena is the ability and desire to disrupt the norm. “There’s no company that remains successful by following the status quo. New talents help us challenge this,” she says.

    Signify has managed to stay on top of the lighting industry for over 125 years, through several industry transformations. We experienced the change from conventional lighting to more energy saving LED lighting. Now we see a shift to connected systems and services, where light can provide information, and this leads to optimization. It’s this dynamic industry that influences Signify’s cultural environment where out the box thinking is appreciated, and employees are encouraged try new things without the usual fear of pushback.

    Due to the constant changes in the industry influencing our company culture, Rowena mentioned that “there’s never a dull moment. We have a proud heritage and passion for innovation, and I think even more, a leadership team that’s open to listen.”

    2016 Annual dinner

    Advice for Career Growth

    Here’s some final advice from Rowena Lee for those who need a little guidance in their career journeys.

    1. Get aligned: Find an industry and company that matches your aspirations; it’s crucial your values and the company values match.
    2. Stretch yourself: When there’s an opportunity, even if it stretches your capabilities, don’t be afraid. Just go and test it out, even if you fail it’s ok.

    3. Be flexible: I’ve been relocated three times and I got to experience many different business contexts. Learning from these different contexts made me a better leader and the same can apply to you.

    4. Find mentorship: Don’t just have one mentor, have many! I would always look to my managers and see what I can learn from them -- including what I should learn to avoid making their same mistakes.
    5. Have a growth mindset: Think in terms of solutions and never impose limits on possibilities. If people say no, I ask why. I always think in terms of solutions, if we talk from the perspective of the problem it will never be solved, so spend some time discussing the problem, but then switch and solve it.

    About the author:

    Reyhaan King

    Reyhaan King

    Recruitment Marketeer for TA Europe


    For further information, please contact:

    Signify Global Integrated Communications
    Neil Pattie
    Tel: + 31 6 15 08 48 17

    About Signify


    Signify (Euronext: LIGHT) is the world leader in lighting for professionals, consumers and the Internet of Things. Our Philips products, Interact systems and data-enabled services, deliver business value and transform life in homes, buildings and public spaces. In 2023, we had sales of EUR 6.7 billion, approximately 32,000 employees and a presence in over 70 countries. We unlock the extraordinary potential of light for brighter lives and a better world. We have been in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index since our IPO for seven consecutive years and have achieved the EcoVadis Platinum rating for four consecutive years, placing Signify in the top one percent of companies assessed. News from Signify can be found in the Newsroom, on X, LinkedIn and Instagram. Information for investors is located on the Investor Relations page.

    Meydan Bridge

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