Leadership

Semiconductor Alliance Takes Steps to Grow Leadership Roles for Women

By / Jun 17, 2019 (gorodenkoff/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

The Global Semiconductor Alliance will aim to bring more women into the field with its Women’s Leadership Initiative, backed by leaders at companies such as AMD, ARM, Nvidia, Qualcomm, and Intel.

The Global Semiconductor Alliance wants to ensure that women not only take roles in their field, but that they can also reach the heights of leadership.

Earlier this month, GSA announced a new Women’s Leadership Initiative, which aims to introduce more women to the field, while encouraging their place as founders, board members, and organizational leaders. The group launched a corresponding group, the WLI Council, to manage the endeavor and help put together programs to help further its mission.

In a news release, GSA noted that women make up a much smaller percentage of the engineering workforce than the overall workforce—15 percent, versus 47 percent. With that in mind, the alliance is working to boost the profiles of women already working in semiconductors, along with practices that look to improve networking, training, and mentoring.

GSA President Jodi Shelton emphasized that the new council is “passionate” about its goal of improving the position of women in the industry.

“The semiconductor industry needs a highly talented, diverse and educated workforce and women are simply not adequately represented so we are missing a huge opportunity,” she said in the release. “We have the full commitment of the GSA leadership including the Board of Directors which is a who’s who of semiconductor leaders.”

Among the leaders who will take part in the WLI Council include co-chairs Vicki Mealer-Burke, the chief diversity officer and vice president of Human Resources at Qualcomm, and Nvidia Executive Vice President of Operations Debora Shoquist. Officials from major firms large and small, including Intel, Advanced Micro Devices, ARM, and Silicon Labs, are also represented on the council, as is GSA’s Shelton.

Many of the board members are in high-ranking leadership roles themselves, including current GSA Chair Dr. Lisa Su, the president and CEO of AMD. Su emphasized in her comments the importance of the council, which she will also serve on.

“Women are under-represented in the semiconductor industry and efforts to strengthen and grow this important talent pool are critical to the long-term competitiveness of our industry,” she stated.

The initiative is one of a number in the technology field in recent years. The venture capital group All Raise, founded more than a year ago, has helped draw attention to women in the startup field through a series of efforts, including programs that draw attention to new generations of venture capitalists and office hours designated for female founders.

Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. More »

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