Shamara Herat – Head of Marketing & Human Resources at Sifani Jewellers (Pvt) Ltd.

As the winner of the ‘Pioneering Women Leader Award 2020’ and with her name on the list of ‘Most Influential Global Marketing Leaders – 2019’, Shamara Herat, the current Head of Marketing & Human Resources at Sifani Jewellers (Pvt) Ltd, has undoubtedly made her mark in the industry. A professional with a passion for what she does, Shamara is also the Editor of the ‘Royal Golfer’, the official magazine of the Royal Colombo Golf Club. Hailing from a traditional planter family, she runs her own coconut plantation in Nattandiya. Shamara is known for conducting herself as a lady and a professional in all aspects, be it in the boardroom, at the store, as an editor or among the coconut groves.

Speaking of the importance of making a positive first impression, Shamara explained, “Think of it as the way you would present yourself at a job interview. Factors like your punctuality, your personal appearance, the manner in which you address your interviewer and your preparation for the meeting will all leave a lasting impact, and will often linger in your interviewer’s mind longer than your résumé. Likewise, the amount of effort you put into that positive first impression will be duly noted by your colleagues in the industry.”

Appearance and presentation are vital factors for all professionals however, it is evident that there is a double standard at play here. “I personally believe that it is essential to be well groomed as a professional, regardless of your gender, but it would be incorrect to deny that there is a double standard. Around the world you read about female politicians being penalised for trivial matters concerning their appearance, such as how often they smile or how often we see them on magazine covers, whereas the same commentary is hardly applied to their male counterparts. As a professional woman, I consider my appearance and presentation to be a mark of respect to whomever I meet, as I represent the Sifani brand.  I would do the same even if I were a man”, said Shamara, expressing her views on the matter.

“Looking the part should come naturally, because your main priority is being the part. Gimmicks never work – smart people see right through it. Don’t put up a false front. Do the work, and respect your peers. That way, you will naturally dress and speak with confidence”, advised the expert, sharing gems of wisdom in relation to ‘looking the part’.

Sharing her secret to making a strong and positive impression, Shamara revealed, “I do my research. Before meeting anyone professionally, I make sure to know what motivates them and what drives their passion for what they do. I’m very interested in how others navigate their industry landscapes, because there’s always a thing or two we can learn from each other.”

“Sifani’s designs are varied. They blend the modern with the classic, and the range of designs give a woman the choice of ensemble for professional occasions and social gatherings alike. It’s really up to you, and what you choose to complement your outfit with for the occasion. Your confidence should shine through, just like your accessories”, responded Shamara to the question of how Sifani caters to the varying needs of professional women.