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Sponsorship of women addresses talent gap, boosts profits

Gender programs in semiconductor companies enhance representation, SEMI report finds


A new report from SEMI, the industry association serving the global electronics manufacturing and design supply chain, highlights how sponsorship programs can help the semiconductor industry tackle its talent gap and increase profitability. 

The report provides guidance to help companies establish formal sponsorship programs, place more women on their boards, assign diversity champions throughout their organizations, and participate in programs that encourage girls to pursue STEM education.

“Attracting, developing and retaining talent are some of the biggest challenges facing the electronics manufacturing and design supply chain, and SEMI has made it a top priority to address these issues,” says Shari Liss, executive director of the SEMI Foundation, which offers workforce development programs and diversity and inclusion initiatives on behalf of SEMI. “Part of the answer going forward is to examine why women are so hugely underrepresented in the industry’s workforce. Attracting more girls to STEM programs is a foundational piece of this effort, and this new report underscores the critical importance and advantages of sponsorship programs to give women career advancement opportunities.”

Many semi players are seeing the results

According to the report, many semiconductor companies are already seeing the results of such sponsorship initiatives.

“Positive endorsement by other women in leadership is critical for combatting gender bias,” Susan Weiher, vice president of engineering operations at Osram stated in the report. “I encourage my peers and team members to bring at least 50% of the promotion candidates as team members of diverse backgrounds, asking them to describe reasons for promotions for the other 50% that include their capability to support and encourage open dialogue around alternative viewpoints such as active diversity inclusion.”

The report highlights that empowering women can achieve increases in innovation, profitability, valuations, thought diversity, and employee morale, and it provides case studies and guidelines to help semiconductor companies pursue these benefits. Additionally, the report explores examples of successful implementations of sponsorship programs and other diversity and inclusion initiatives at leading semiconductor companies.

“Supporting women’s career advancement is not only the right thing to do, it also makes good business sense,” adds Syed Alam, who leads Accenture’s Semiconductor practice globally. “Having led successful diversity and inclusion initiatives with the semiconductor industry, Accenture can share first-hand insights into the challenges that women face in moving up the corporate ladder — and how to address them.”