Our Women in Semiconductors Roundtable in Austin, Texas was an incredible success; over 100 people joined our host, Lauren Hart, and incredible speakers from Samsung, AMD and Applied Materials to discuss diversity and inclusion in the semiconductor industry. Now the dust has settled, we wanted to roundup the roundtable and shed some light for everyone who didn’t have the pleasure of attending the event.
What was the Women in Semiconductors roundtable for?
In short, we organised the roundtable to start a very important discussion in the semiconductor industry, to champion senior level women, and to lay the groundwork to help others find their way through this male-dominated industry. Bringing people together in a physical space to talk about their experiences, to learn from one another, proved to be extremely powerful.
What were our main takeaways?
Whilst we knew this was a discussion happening across the globe at multiple companies, the response was better than we could have expected. To see over 100 people sacrifice their evenings in a notoriously busy month to get involved was nothing short of humbling. It was incredible to see everyone cheer each other on as they took to the microphone, making their own voices heard and having the chance to talk to each other and the incredible speakers we had.
Our host, Lauren Hart, had the following to say:
“It was a wonderful, empowering evening. Everyone came together as allies to discuss the current challenges and solutions needed to help create a more diverse industry.
The evening’s talking points revolved around possible solutions. How critical representation is, having more women at senior levels, encouraging parents to see the value of their daughters entering the tech market to overall build the pipeline for the future. Giving younger women role models was really important too and came up time and time again.
One of the main takeaways from the evening was that it was amazing to see that there are so many individuals already supporting this discussion, and that there are so many people to speak to about this across multiple companies and seniorities.
What did attendees think of the event?
We asked our attendees a number of questions after the event, and their responses mirrored the energy and passion we felt on the night. 70% of respondents felt the event exceeded their expectations, 90% felt that it met its goals, and 100% wanted to keep up the momentum, joining a closed group on LinkedIn to continue the conversation.
Why is this so important for us and the industry?
It comes as no surprise that the semiconductor industry is male dominated. Women only represent 10 to 25% of everyone employed in the semiconductor industry, whilst women in leadership roles (director and above) account for less than 1%. There are countless causes for this imbalance, and getting to the bottom of them is our first mission. Once we know why, we can begin to work with our existing network, as well as the one we are building around this cause, to help every single woman in this industry flourish, and to encourage more into it.
If the semiconductor industry is going to address the current shortage of talent, then ensuring the industry is more inclusive, diverse and attractive to women is a fantastic first step. Ensuring women do not feel excluded from thinking the semiconductor industry is the right one for them is critical, and having strong females role models to help reinforce this once they’re in the industry is equally as important.
What’s next for Women in Semiconductors?
Lauren’s passion is in the manufacturing side of the semiconductor industry, and in May 2023 she is looking to bring this conversation to New York at the annual ‘Advanced Semiconductor Manufacturing Conference’.
Looking further in the future, we’re looking to host webinars, more in-person events and to include as many people from as many companies, universities and colleges as possible to ensure this conversation becomes action.
For now, we continue to urge people further this conversation in any ways they can, to call upon allies in the industry to help bring about change, and to keep your eyes peeled for our next event.
We want to say a final thank you to our incredible speakers; Michelle Mapp Cooper, VP Culture of Inclusion at Applied Materials, Saiqa Farhat, Chief of Staff, Advanced Packaging at AMD, and Lenore McLaughlin, Director of Etch Engineering at Samsung.