How Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Drive Innovation – Samsung Global Newsroom
How Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Drive Innovation – Samsung Global Newsroom
Above all, Samsung Electronics believes that a corporate culture that respects diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) is essential to continuous innovation. In honor of the United Nations International Women’s Day on March 8, Samsung is providing a platform for its female employees and showing how a company can embrace fairness inside and out.
As a global technology and innovation leader, Samsung aims to lead by example and champion gender equality and the empowerment of all women in the workplace. Additionally, research shows that workplaces that excel in DEI drive better business outcomes, including better employee engagement, talent retention, and higher financial achievement.
To celebrate the global holiday, Samsung Newsroom met with employees from Asia, North America, Europe, Southwest Asia, and Central and South America to share stories about the DEI culture of the company. Check out the interviews below to learn how Samsung is creating a safe and inclusive workspace for all its employees.
Women support women through open communication
In addition to being a purchasing manager for Samsung’s Visual Display division, Clara Han is also an active mother of two children in elementary school.
“While there is now a growing movement around male involvement in parenthood, women still struggle to build and continue their careers uninterrupted due to having children,” Clara said. “As a result, Samsung continuously strives to create a culture in which employees can be recognized and grow regardless of their gender, nationality or age.”
“We try to create an environment where each member of the group understands and recognizes individual differences so that everyone can receive the same opportunities, receive fair evaluation and do their best in each situation,” Clara said. “Every voice counts, and having an attitude that listens to everyone has a positive impact on efficiency and performance in the workplace.”
Megan Detwiler, an engineer at Samsung, became involved with Women in Technology at Samsung (WITS) shortly after starting work at Samsung Austin Semiconductor. As part of the program, Megan runs various campaigns to help educate employees about DEI. While she applauded WITS’ professional development opportunities for women, including industry conferences, classes and monthly meetings, for Megan the most rewarding part of the program was its sense of community.
“Through WITS, I have been able to connect with people from all aspects of the business, meet people in technical and non-technical roles, at all levels of management, from technicians and professionals to vice- presidents,” Megan said. “People like that at Samsung, especially at WITS, are invested in making sure you’re able to not only succeed, but really grow and thrive here.”
“WITS helped me find my voice, which gave me not only that confidence, but also the courage to amplify other women’s voices as well,” Megan said.
Manavi Pathak, Head of Learning and Organizational Development at Samsung R&D Institute India-Bangalore (SRI-B), is also an active member of Samsung Women’s Accelerated Network (SWAN). She highlighted how an inclusive workplace successfully meets the needs of the women who work there, noting how Samsung’s DEI initiatives and culture enable talented women to succeed.
“Women themselves demand more work,” Manavi said. “At Samsung R&D Institute India-Bangalore, we have leadership development programs for women, diversity hiring goals, childcare policies, special leaves, flextime and more, which have all supported my professional development as well as the careers of other female colleagues at Samsung Research.
“The COVID-19 crisis has redesigned the way we work. More and more women want to work for companies that prioritize cultural change and improving workplace flexibility, including employee well-being, diversity, equity and inclusion “said Manavi. “Companies that stand out will attract and retain female leaders.”
Adam Eaglefield, Head of Engagement Team at Samsung Electronics UK, is also a member of the Women @Samsung ERG and its Male Allies team. This association runs mentoring and networking programs to develop female talent. He says that to achieve DEI, the most important part is that we not only have to listen to women, but also break down unconscious biases and understand the other’s point of view.
“Covenant is fundamental in any cause or movement,” Adam said. “In this case, male allies can advocate for women in business and industry in all interactions, from working to see representation at senior levels to ensuring women are represented and heard in day-to-day meetings.”
“As an ally, I make sure to actively listen to women and their experiences, frustrations, passions and desires,” Adam said. “We need to learn about each other’s perspectives, as well as our own unconscious privileges and biases, and above all, come together to take positive action.”
Maria Fernanda Gonzalez, Senior Director of Public Relations and Communications at Samsung Electronics Mexico, is also a member of Women at Samsung (SEM-S). She explained why she enjoyed working for a company that actively empowers women and respects equity.
“Samsung has supported me by empowering me to grow, not only giving me opportunities to grow into leadership roles but also giving me the tools to go beyond my goals,” said Maria Fernando. “I can be an empathetic team player who contributes to the development of other members of my team.”
“I am confident that with stronger female leaders who can inspire the next generation of women, we will be able to close the gender gap in the tech industry,” said Maria Fernanda.
Lunch Talk & One Table: Collecting employee feedback to improve the experience of women at work
To create a working environment that everyone can enjoy, Samsung holds annual events and campaigns for employees around the world to celebrate special DEI days, including International Women’s Day, International Day of Persons with Disabilities and World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development. For this year’s International Women’s Day, Samsung management and female executives will hold a Lunch Talk meeting to discuss ways to improve DEI. Samsung will also hold a One Table event hosted by Jong-Hee Han to hear concerns from female employees, including female developers and working mothers, and to discuss ways to foster female leadership.
The ideas discussed during the meetings will then be transmitted to the DCI secretariat and integrated into the management of the organization. Attendees and leaders from each organization will discuss how Samsung can make a consistent push for gender equality and suggest various opinions to management, ranging from employee mindset to systemic improvement of the diversity, equity and inclusion.
Global Women’s Week: Celebrating Diversity, Inclusion and Gender Equality
To celebrate International Women’s Day, Vice President Jong-Hee Han and President and CEO Kye Hyun Kyung deliver a message emphasizing the importance of gender equality and DEI to all employees in the division DX. Vice President Han emphasized the value of diversity, equity and inclusion with his determination to “make an effort to form an organizational culture where all employees from diverse backgrounds feel part of the ‘organization”. He highlighted his goal of helping employees “unleash their full potential through equal opportunity.”
About 5,000 Samsung executives and employees worldwide interested in DEI actively participate in Samsung’s 33 ERGs, which offer everything from networking and mentoring to ERG training. These groups work hard to not only improve the Samsung employee experience, but also to volunteer and give back to the local community. Among them, these large-scale female GREs implement networking and career development programs for female managers and employees, striving to build the capacity of women in the workplace.
Every year since 2017, One Family Council has held an annual “Pink Box” charity event in Suwon Digital City for young women from low-income families. This year, a “Pink Box” containing DIY key rings, feminine objects and messages of encouragement will be distributed to 100 teenagers.
During the week of International Women’s Day, overseas regional headquarters also hold meetings with employees, DEI webinars with external instructors and roundtables, in addition to offering employee vacations, events gift delivery and more.
Samsung continues to work to create a space that goes beyond just a workplace and fosters employee growth by allowing them to unleash their potential. Samsung’s decision to create an organization where employees and the company can grow together is accelerating steps towards a better future.