As strategic competition for semiconductor manufacturing increases, countries are stepping up efforts to train and recruit talent from STEM disciplines to produce cutting-edge chips. However, although the industry is experiencing exponential growth, women are still underrepresented in leadership and technical positions.
ALLPROS.eu, a CSA project funded by the European Commission under the Digital Europe programme, works to bring together the various stakeholders in the semiconductor industry in Europe and strengthen the sector by creating opportunities for dialogue and collaboration.
As narrowing the gender gap can reduce skills shortages, unleash innovation and create an inclusive vision for new technologies, ALLPROS.eu is stepping up its efforts to facilitate discussion to find efficient and advanced solutions that would benefit the semiconductor sector.
In a series of interviews with female leaders from across Europe, ALLPROS.eu has discussed the issue of diversity in STEM disciplines and the barriers that prevent women from entering fields such as the chips industry.
“If Europe aims to tackle the talent shortage, involving only half of its talent pool is not enough”, stressed by Francoise Chombar, MELEXIS Chairwoman. The current obstacles include the girls' exposure to gender biases, lack of career guidance and targeted training, which together contribute to setting-up entry barriers for women to join the field.
Starting from addressing the unconscious biases in teachers, to exposing females to more role models and successful professional experiences in the field can increase the likelihood of women choosing a STEM career.
When asked about the reasons why young specialists, and particularly women, should be interested in joining the semiconductor field, Aude Jalabert, Head of the Brussels Office at Infineon Technologies, highlighted:
A common conclusion from all the interviews is therefore that a lack of diversity can slow down innovation and progress. To prevent this, it is essential to share knowledge, reach out to women professionals and demonstrate how their participation and involvement can lead to better solutions.
Trust-IT, as part of the ALLPROS.eu Consortium, has released a video in cooperation with the European Commission, which includes insights from the conducted interviews and reflects the need to involve more women in the semiconductors industry.
The full interviews taken by ALLPROS.eu will be published in the near future on its blog to incentivise the discussion on the gender gap in the chips manufacturing sector.
Furthermore, ALLPROS.eu will hold a dedicated Webinar on Skills Shortage & Inclusion in the Semiconductor Industry on 17 May 2023 (14:00-16:30 CEST). The event will feature industry, government and academia representatives who will share their perspectives on how we can cooperate to train talent and address the gender gap.