From an early age, Sam has always been a champion of fairness for all.
Her elders instilled this in her as a core value that was integral to building and sustaining trust in her communities. In her family, the lesson came in the form of ‘The Golden Rule’. The expectation was simply to treat people the way that she wanted to be treated. Whether through taking on the neighborhood boys who bullied her younger brother while growing up in the Bronx, leveraging her privilege to make space for the voices and needs of students of color at the University or having courageous conversations with senior leaders within corporate spaces; her commitment to fairness, equity and ‘The Golden Rule’ is a thread that is tightly woven in the fabric of who she is.
Sam’s path to a career in I&D is unique, because unlike many I&D practitioners, she didn’t have a deep human resources background. Rather, her career at GSK began in R&D and Global Ethics and Compliance; where she held a variety of roles such as Clinical Development Scientist and Independent Business Manager. "Through these roles, I learned about health disparities that disproportionality impacted communities of color, the importance of access and representation, and the potentially negative impacts of bias. As a result, I bring a unique lens to GSK’s US I&D work," says Sam.
Additionally, those early roles further shaped her cultural competency; as she had opportunities to work with and lead teams outside of the US in places that included: Venice, Italy, Bogota, Colombia, and Mumbai, India; with colleagues whose cultural, societal, gender and/or political norms often differed significantly from her own.
While she credits these early roles with shaping and informing the curiously analytical, innovative, and people-centered approaches that she takes to I&D today, the start of it all was her commitment to ‘The Golden Rule’.
As I reflect on my career in Inclusion and Diversity, it makes me proud to realize that through my work, the legacy of my elders lives on.