This November sees both the Institute of Directors’ Women in Business Conference and Women’s Entrepreneurship Day. To celebrate women in business, we sat down with Gazprom Energy’s European Marketing and Communications Director, Rezarta Larkin, to discuss her impressive career so far.
After joining the business back in early 2014 as European Marketing and Communications Director, Rezarta Larkin has refocussed Gazprom Energy’s marketing efforts in order to develop a One Brand approach across Europe and utilise the power of content. Having previously headed up communications in large companies and for multimillion pound global change programmes, Rezarta serves as an empowering role model for other women with successful business careers in their sights.
Prior to joining Gazprom Energy, Rezarta held senior positions in a range of global companies, including those in the retail and commercial banking sectors. Over the years, she has built up a wealth of experience developing effective communications and commercial marketing strategies which proved essential to the success of various businesses commercial and reputational agendas as well as the effective delivery of many large scale transformation programmes.
When speaking about her inspiration to follow this career path, Rezarta highlights a long-standing interest in behavioural psychology and the power of communication in influencing people’s thinking and perceptions, commenting: “marketing and engaging communication really taps into these and influences the way that we process information. When you bring creative thinking and execution into this, it can be really powerful.
“That’s what interested me initially, and then as time went on I was able to further my experience around the many disciplines of marketing and communications. It’s also been fascinating to see the impact technology is having, as digital has brought a new level of complexity, enabling us to achieve so much more.”
When discussing her career, Rezarta is quick to point out what she considers to be the keys to her success.
“I think there’s a lot to be said for hard work, determination and positive thinking. It’s a great combination, but you only start to realise this as you become more experienced. I often say to my children that the harder you work the luckier you will get. Hopefully they will thank me one day!”
As well as hard work, determination and positive thinking, Rezarta is a strong advocate of practical, hands-on experience, like Gazprom Energy’s thriving internship programme.
“We’ve had interns in our team and they’ve all been brilliant; they’ve achieved fantastic results and gone on into very good jobs afterwards. It’s not something I’d ever seen in previous companies but Gazprom Energy provide a truly rewarding opportunity to build first-hand experience in a multi-national environment and having seen it in action, it’s easy to see what an amazing opportunity it is.
“I think taking a break from studies and getting some real world business experience is time well spent for some graduates. It may not be for everyone – some people just want to get straight through and finish their studies – but there’s a lot to be said for learning in your job role and being able to link this back together with theory. It can have a really positive impact on your future employability as we have seen with many of our interns.
“It’s a great starting point for a career, especially at Gazprom Energy, as there are so many different projects across all European locations we operate in to get involved with. I’d always give the same advice for any new interns starting their journey – you’ll get out as much as you put in and what you take away is dependent on your appetite to learn. There is certainly plenty going on across the team.”
When looking back over her career so far, Rezarta comments: “I’ve always specialised in delivering results that contribute to the bottom line of overall organisational success. I’ve been lucky enough to be able to do this in a variety of roles, often in global companies, working both permanently and independently.
“At Gazprom Energy, the opportunity I’ve been given is immense and a very exciting one, as I have been able to shape the corporate communications agenda whilst building the foundations of a best in class marketing and communications pan–European capability and function for the business.”
Talking about the Women in Business Conference and Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, Rezarta adds how she enjoys working alongside strong, influential women at Gazprom Energy, adding “I am very proud to work for an organisation where there are many women working in senior management roles."
Gazprom Energy is the Retail arm of Gazprom Marketing & Trading (GM&T) - a wholly owned subsidiary of the Gazprom group of companies, the world's largest gas producer and one of the world's largest energy companies. GM&T aims to build a unique environment of excellence, providing the world with innovative energy solutions.