Diversity Is Key To Address Challenges Facing Semiconductor Industry
SINGAPORE – 11 March 2021 – The Inaugural Semiconductor Women’s Forum in Singapore was launched at Conrad Centennial Singapore today in a hybrid format. Organised by the Singapore Semiconductor Industry Association (SSIA) and supported by e2i, Workforce Singapore and Global Semiconductor Alliance, the event aimed to attract more female talents to join the semiconductor sector, and inspire the current female workforce to stay and thrive in the industry.
The event attracted over 700 participants (both on-site and online) from more than 100 corporates and organisations worldwide. Ms Sun Xueling, Minister of State for Education and Social and Family Development, attended the event as the Guest of Honour.
The semiconductor industry in Singapore remains a male-dominant industry even though female leadership contributes tremendously in corporate sectors worldwide, as recognised by global studies. A survey ‘GSA: Women in the Semiconductor Industry’ conducted by GSA and Accenture in 2019 and 2020 showed a significant under-representation of females with the highest in leadership and technical roles in the industry.
Supporting female employees during pandemic
The recent growth and consequent shortages in semiconductors have highlighted how critical the semiconductor industry is in providing the building blocks of the products and services that impact the way we live, how we work, and the way we enjoy our leisure.
SSIA Chairman Andrew Chong said diversity is key to address these urgent needs in a responsible manner. “The industry strongly needs more talents to deliver the vibrancy, agility and sustainability necessary for success in this field during the pandemic. The significant investments in building a more flexible and empathetic workplace will greatly help retain and attract employees, and nurture a culture in which women have equal opportunity to achieve their potential in a meaningful career,” said Andrew in his welcome speech. He said companies have increased their efforts in creating diversified and inclusive working environments. Some of them have also established Women Network Chapters within their organizations to encourage and support their employees.
Insights from women leaders in the industry
Five reputable female leaders who have excelled in the semiconductor industry shared their inspirational career journeys at the Semiconductor Women’s Forum, including Jennifer Zhao, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Advanced Optical Sensors Division, ams AG, Siah Soh Yun, Technology Development Vice President, GLOBALFOUNDRIES (GF), Sim Cher Whee, Vice President, Global Talent Acquisition and Talent Mobility, Micron, Jaya Jagadish, Corporate Vice President- Silicon Design Engineering & Country Head — India, AMD, and Olivia Koentjoro, Director of Intellectual Property Analytics Center of Excellence, Global Law Department, Applied Materials.
“In 2013, GF established the GLOBALWOMEN (GW) network with a mission to create a sustainable framework for the professional development of women at GF. GW is a vital part of our inclusive culture and has now evolved into an alliance that includes women and men who actively work as allies for women employees. There is a strong need for corporates to place ‘balance for better’ as a priority by institutionalizing support groups on mentoring and professional development of women engineers,” said Soh Yun from GF.
“Applied Materials sponsors Women Professional Development Network (WPDN), which fosters diversity and inclusion and aims to build a progressive, fair and equitable working environment within Applied. WPDN is active in promoting engagement and retention of female talents and acting as a development platform for future Applied female leaders,” said Olivia from Applied Materials.
“Micron is utilising new tools to promote diversity in talent acquisition and reinforce Micron’s inclusive culture, such as modifying job descriptions to weed out unconscious gender bias, using AI to reduce bias in candidate applications, and ensuring interviewing teams are also diverse. The post COVID era of leadership and innovation calls for a strong sense of purpose and empathy, and we are defining our new normal,” said Cher Whee from Micron.
In the coming months, SSIA will roll out more events and activities to create a vibrant environment for its workforce. For more details of coming talent development initiatives for the electronics and semiconductor industry, please visit https://ssia.org.sg/jobs
About Singapore Semiconductor Industry Association (SSIA)
Singapore Semiconductor Industry Association (SSIA) has more than 180 members today including companies and organisations throughout all parts of the complex and comprehensive value chain – IC design companies, Manufacturers, Fabless companies, Equipment suppliers, Photovoltaic companies, EDA and material suppliers, Training and service providers, IP companies, research institutes and Academia, as well as individual members. Since 2013, SME membership has grown exponentially and SMEs now account for close to half of SSIA’s membership. For more information about SSIA, please visit: https://ssia.org.sg/