It's nothing new to hear that companies are looking to increase the representation of women in the workplace. In tech industries, diversity is especially crucial in technical roles to help debias the technologies that make up modern life. Yet when we look at the semiconductor industry historically, which develops the chips in our cars, fridges and phones, female hardware engineers are scarce.
“Twenty years ago I walked onto the research lab of one semiconductor client - and I didn’t see a single female employee. Has much changed?”
Our semiconductor clients are demanding more women are put forward for technical engineering roles like hardware engineers, digital verification engineers and analog designers. This push to increase diversity is a common sense commercial decision. Companies with at least 30% women experience 15% increase in profitability. Gender diversity promotes more creativity and innovation - which is what you want when you’re attempting to create disruptive technologies. Different ways of thinking, which can be formed by identification with a particular group like gender or ethnicity, can produce powerful results to problem solving. Asking whether companies should promote diversity in their workforce is a non-question. It’s essential.
Yet, if you search LinkedIn for skillsets for digital verification in Germany, for instance, where many of our semiconductor clients are, you’ll find that of the talent pool of 600 specialists, only 8% are female. For analog designers in the Netherlands, another semiconductor hotspot, 9% are female.
One semiconductor client we have worked with for 6 years have managed to increase the quota of women in these technical roles from 3.5% to 8% through partnering with us. Others who start at 1.5% women are hoping to reach at least 5%.
So, it’s no small feat that we managed to have 19% of our technical expert placements be female - that’s twice the industry average. If we look at ethnicity data too, 41% of our technical expert placements in 2022 were from ethnic minority backgrounds, while industry averages are 28%. This year alone we have placed candidates of over 41 different nationalities.
We conducted our own survey on D & I in our network and the stats are clear. 64% said D & I in their workforce is very or extremely important to them. They want to see work environments where they are included, yet 15% of them don’t feel comfortable talking about the cultural or social background at work. While 41% said their companies are actively trying to promote D & I in their workforce, 49% believed more could be done.
For us, it all starts at home with our own team. Our own team is 45% women and 35% ethnic minorities. When you look at Sussex averages for ethnic minorities - it’s 8% ethnic minority. We speak twenty-two languages between us and we have global teams all over the world. We have not been a company who has blown our own horn about this in the past, but as a global company with international clients and candidates, the unique perspectives of a diverse team have been crucial to our success. We have an unprecedented ability to help our clients reach their diversity and inclusion goals and have proof that we are leading from the front.
For further information on these results or to discuss this further, feel free to contact our Head of Marketing & Communications Malinda Zerefos – email@example.com