March 8 marks International Women’s Day (IWD), a day designated by the United Nations to celebrate and acknowledge the achievements of women across all facets of society, from culture to politics to business. This year’s IWD theme is #BreakTheBias, a message that highlights the importance of working towards a more sustainable future free of all types of stereotyping and discrimination.
In order to highlight this important day in the global calendar, Samsung Newsroom sat down with three female employees to hear their experiences of fighting the bias, achieving their career goals and helping others to do the same.
Vice President of the Mobile eXperience (MX) Business at Samsung Electronics, Jaeyeon Jung is the team leader for SmartThings, and not only works hard to bring the best experiences to SmartThings users around the world, but also to help junior colleagues grow.
“It is an unfortunate reality that the proportion of female colleagues to male does decrease as the responsibility a role has increases,” noted Jung. “But just as my bosses evaluated me without prejudice and encouraged me to take on new challenges, I, too, want to share as much as possible with those junior to me and to help them grow without any discrimination based on gender, nationality or age.”
Sumedha Bakhshi, Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) Lead for Samsung SWA and Chairperson of the SIEL-S D&I Council, believes that each and every individual possesses unique talents, passions, beliefs and lifestyles. Throughout her career, Bakhshi has had to face stereotypes about the role of the woman in her home country, battling through them to successfully advance her career time and again.
“In one of my previous roles, I faced a lot of resistance when I applied for the role of Quality Leader, since it seemed to go unsaid that women were ‘not good’ with numbers or analytics,” noted Bakhshi. “However, I overcame this prejudice with effort, passion and my own abilities — resulting in my assessment scores being better than all the other applicants, landing me the job. At Samsung now, it feels great to be part of a team that values you for your unique strengths. I have always had the full support of leadership in all the projects I’ve undertaken — my recent promotion within the company was only possible because I was evaluated based on my own abilities alone. Everyone should be given a fair opportunity without discrimination or prejudice.”
Svetlana Chervonnykh manages Soft Skill Development for Samsung partners at Samsung MENA CS, and is steadfast in the belief that an accomplished woman is a happier and a stronger woman. Not only does Chervonnykh have ambitions for her current role in changing people’s perceptions of services, she also dreams of opening a healing retreat for women in order to nurture their inner and outer health.
“I believe that women have secret superpowers thanks to their natural femininity and softness, something that is actually incredibly useful in work environments,” said Chervonnykh. “My immediate boss is the only female leader in the Samsung MENA CS team, and she sets a great example. Among those I work with, regardless of gender, I find everyone very cooperative in fostering a comfortable environment in which to work.”
Breaking the Bias by Fostering Support for All
By fostering a culture that embraces all kinds of diverse talents, Samsung supports all of its members to feel a sense of belonging and to realize their potential based on equal opportunity. Every year on IWD, the company arranges a variety of events for employees all over the globe to highlight this community of respect, inclusion and diversity.
As a celebration of this year’s IWD, Samsung has organized a global campaign amongst its employees to submit photos of them making the IWD’22 official pose — using the arms to form the letter ‘X’ — in order to bring together Samsung employees from all over the world virtually through a collage of solidarity. As well as this, the company has prepared a special IWD video that sees female Samsung employees going about their lives and routines and sharing their support for the IWD cause.
Furthermore, on March 8, the company is hosting regional lunch webinars beginning with Korea and continuing on in a relay format in Southeast Asia, Southwest Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Latin America and North America, with staggered starting times to align with the different time zones. These webinars, held under the theme of ‘Breaking Prejudice and Making a Better World’, will see expert guest speakers share their experiences and engage with employees on the topic of fighting prejudice.
A Better World, Without Prejudice
As well as organizing these special events to commemorate IWD, Samsung continues to work year-round to end discrimination in the workplace and foster an environment where all people can thrive regardless of such factors as their gender.
“We at Samsung will continue to work hard to guide our female employees to find the roles that befit their strengths and capabilities, and help them achieve their career goals,” said Jong-Hee Han, Vice Chairman and CEO at Samsung Electronics’ DX Division. “We will increase our support for our future female leaders through a range of diverse mentoring and networking programs.”
Kyehyun Kyung, CEO and President of Samsung Electronics’ DS Division, also shared a message of support for the company’s employees. “We aim to ensure every member feels a sense of belonging and realizes their full potential by embracing the value of diversity and inclusion.”