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Mai Zazueta: Be Fearless and Dance Like No One is Watching


Diversity. Equity. Inclusion. Three significant words often strung together with the power to shape a stronger company culture and workplace environment for all.

At Samsung, it’s part of our company’s heritage to push boundaries and defy barriers to achieve meaningful progress and power bold innovation. But innovation doesn’t just happen — it is designed by humans for humans. And a critical ingredient is our inclusive culture and diverse workforce. Our company is made up of nearly 270,000 people around the world of different ethnicities, races, genders, sexual orientations, identities, religious beliefs, and abilities. But together, we’re ONE global team united by Samsung’s purpose and values.

Action is another noteworthy word. Samsung is continuing to make progress on our journey towards driving meaningful change. And we want to spotlight the DE&I champions within our organization that have been and continue to be instrumental in enabling us to make an impact and helping to create a rich sense of belonging where everyone can thrive.

1. What has been your greatest learning or most exciting experience in your career journey as it relates to DE&I?

A quote by poet Audre Lorde comes to mind as a key career learning: ‘It is not our differences that divide us. It is our inability to recognize, accept, and celebrate those differences.’ I have long believed that we need to champion the gifts of differences because it’s those differences that can spark education, creativity, and ultimately change. At Samsung Electronics America, I’m beyond proud of the diversity of our Field Sales Team – many of whom are active representatives and leaders within our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) and strongly believe in the power of differences.

2. What obstacles have you overcome as an Asian woman in the technology industry?

As an Asian woman, I have always had to be fearless and resourceful to be seen and heard. I feel very thankful to be a part of an organization that provides the support and development for women like me to excel and lead. It’s about believing in yourself first and then finding the right advocates to enable and empower you.

3. Do you believe that diverse and inclusive teams are the engines of innovation?

Culture, ethnicity, gender, life experience, sexuality, age, geography, and more influence our individual passions and ideas. The more diverse teams are, the more likely they are to draw inspiration from unrelated places, which bring passion and idea combinations that can lead to more uniquely incredible and innovative concepts and solutions. In my opinion, diversity is a MUST as it brings together shared and divergent experiences to enable creative and innovative thinking.

4. What’s one simple way your fellow colleagues can turn allyship into action?

Allies are people who recognize their privilege and use that privilege or influence in solidarity with diverse groups to challenge the status quo – to uplift, defend, and support them. One form of true allyship in action in the workplace could be to amplify underrepresented voices in a meeting to ensure they are heard and their idea or comment is given a platform.

5. What advice would you give to your younger self?

‘Dance like no one is watching.’ To me, the phrase means to free yourself from judgment or fear of what others might think. It means being present and not consumed by others’ approval or expectations.

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