Throughout his nearly 20-year career, Glenn Williams has worked for a range of large multinational organizations, from the US Army to the oil and gas industry to tech. Yet, there’s been one common thread throughout: his desire to have a positive impact on people through policy, culture, and action.
“When you work in human resources, you get to interact with people, help them solve problems, and make a difference in their lives,” says Williams, who joined HP as SVP, human resources and chief diversity officer in May. “I’ve known some great HR people during my time, and I know how big of an impact they can have. I want to have that same impact.”
Williams has spent the first part of his tenure at HP on a listening tour. In less than four months, he has met with almost every HP leader and visited nearly every US location. He’s now embarking on office visits where he’s looking to meet with key partners from the company’s Business Impact Networks and to glean insights and ideas from employees worldwide.
“All these people will be integral to achieving our goals,” he says. “We want to make sure we’re creating a culture of inclusion, our processes are fair, and we highlight and celebrate different communities.”
The Garage sat down with Williams to learn more about his new role, get details on his background, and hear his thoughts on recent DE&I and technology trends.
Looking back on your career, what are some of the most important things you learned?
When I was in the Army, I learned how to get things done. That’s something that’s drilled into you. There are no excuses. Later, at Amazon, where I ran everything from competitive intelligence to DE&I to talent acquisition for the consumer organization, I learned about the selling points that can help attract diverse employees. Once I moved to Qualcomm, I was able to put everything together to have some really great DE&I results, which then led me to HP.
What attracted you to the role at HP?
HP has always been at the forefront in talking about its values. It has this pioneering ‘we’re going to do what’s right’ and ‘we treat our people the right way’ stance. Now that I’m here, I realize those values were instilled by the founders and passed down. Our current leadership, led by [CEO] Enrique [Lores], takes that to heart. Look at how diverse our leadership team is. They’ve all come from different backgrounds and different walks of life. That helps to create an organization where everybody feels they can bring their entire, authentic selves to work.