5 Questions About DE&I with Renzo Villavicencio
- Diversity. Equity. Inclusion. Three significant words often strung together with the power to shape a stronger company culture and workplace environment for all.
- Samsung is continuing to make progress on our journey towards driving meaningful change. And we’re spotlighting the DE&I champions within our organization that are instrumental in enabling us to make an impact.
- “In light of the difficult sociopolitical climate, I believe it is my duty to pay-it-forward by committing to help Samsung Electronics America create a better workplace for everyone.” – Renzo Villavicencio
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 does diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) mean to you, both personally and professionally?
To me, DE&I is more than policies, programs, or headcounts. It’s about respecting the unique needs, perspectives, and potential of all our team members. Diverse and inclusive workplaces create more committed and productive employees.
For Samsung Electronics America to continue its leadership role in the technology industry it is vital to create and maintain a successful workplace environment; one founded on the principle that all people can thrive personally and professionally.
Finally, it has also been proven that diverse and inclusive workplaces can drive better business results, including higher revenue growth, greater readiness to innovate, increased ability to recruit a diverse talent pool, and higher employee retention.
2. What has been your greatest learning or most exciting experience in your career journey as it relates to DE&I?
Being one of the founders and an executive sponsor of Unidos, the company’s Hispanic and Latino Employee Resource Group (ERG), has been a unique and rewarding experience. Prior to this, I didn’t fully understand and appreciate DE&I and its potential impact on organizations. Working closely with a group of very passionate Hispanic and Latino employees to bring this ERG to life, discussing our challenges and future plans, has taught me so much about the positive effect our actions can make on our community.
I am a believer that inclusivity matters and look forward to bringing some of that experience and the perspective I have gained to the DE&I Council, a diverse group of leaders from across Samsung Electronics America who are spearheading efforts to create an organizational culture that promotes inclusion and belonging, to help drive significant change.
3. How have you seen diversity efforts progress in the workplace during your career?
I am a long-time Samsung employee. When I joined back in 2006, our company looked (and felt) very different and the concept of DE&I was not yet embedded into our framework.
It has been amazing to see the progress our organization has made in the last few years through the incredible efforts of employees throughout the organization and the strong commitment and the active support from our leadership to create and grow multiple Samsung ERGs (WISE+, Galaxy of Black Professionals, LGBTQIA+ Equality Alliance, Veterans Community, Next Generation Leaders, and Unidos). Seeing the creation of the ERGs and the Diversity Team, the appointment of our CDO, and now the formation of the DE&I Council gives me confidence that there is a new company vision on DE&I and I am excited to see what’s coming in the near future.
Having said that, I believe there is still work to be done. This is just the beginning and we must quickly close the diversity gap within the organization.
4. Can you share a little about what’s shaped your passion for creating a more equitable workplace?
I moved from Peru to America when I was in my early 20s. I have been very fortunate to join a great company and meet strong leaders that have mentored and taught me so much. They have also given me many opportunities to grow without bias related to my accent or ethnic diversity.
In light of the difficult sociopolitical climate, I believe it is my duty to pay-it-forward by committing to help Samsung Electronics America create a better workplace for everyone. Also, I am also the proud father of three young daughters (first generation Latinas). I want to do my part to improve equality in the workplace by being an advocate for inclusivity. Directly and indirectly, I hope this will positively impact their prospects of career progression, success, and happiness. Not only is it the right thing to do, but the fact is we simply all benefit from a more equal world.
5. How have the views of diverse people enhanced your work or work experience?
Tremendously, this is one of the main reasons why I have stayed at Samsung for so long. I love being part of a global organization that provides the opportunity to collaborate and learn from people with different backgrounds and experiences, not only in the U.S. but also from across the world.
I feel this work experience has enriched my professional development and I am very thankful for that. I want to believe this has made me a better employee, colleague, and leader, but most importantly a better person.