New Organization Helps Women Develop Careers in Electronics
A mentorship program builds the skillsets the industry needs to build to achieve greater innovation and success.
Innovation and change are the driving force of the electronics industry, and that spirit of change extends to the people that make up today’s electronics companies. As more women are drawn to all areas of the industry, a new group has formed to offer mentorship opportunities and help women develop the skillsets that will help electronics companies become stronger, more competitive, and more creative. Women in Electronics (WE), a non-profit organization, is launching activities in 11 regions in the US. In 2019, chapters will meet quarterly in January, April, July, and October. So far we have had introductory meetings in San Diego CA, Orange County CA, Northern California, Boston North and South, Minnesota, and Chicago.
Just a year into its existence, the organization has members across the electronics industry, representing a wide range of technology companies. Employees from several connector manufacturers, including TE Connectivity and Preci-Dip, are participating in education initiatives and other projects.
“The opportunity to provide the women in our industry with a network of leaders and influencers to expand leadership talent in our industry has long been a passion of mine. We appreciate the support of our first corporate sponsors Amphenol, Cornell Dubilier, and Kemet Electronic Components, who are committed to developing and investing in a talent group that is critical to our future,” said WE president and founder Jackie Mattox.
Mattox says that multiple studies have found that companies that have teams with both men and women have greater financial success, yet most companies in the industry lack significant numbers of women employees across all divisions of the company. “Women have the ability to think with their heads and their hearts, which helps make for strong, compassionate, and wise leaders,” she said.
She formed Women in Engineering to harness the talents of the electronics community to help women reach their full potential. “Many of the men have more opportunities to connect through various events and hobbies by nature of being in a male-dominated industry, so providing the women with a place to call home was one of the reasons for starting WE. Having the opportunity to learn together and develop our leadership skills through our virtual training and mentorship program was another need that many of us didn’t acknowledge to the extent we desired until the first annual leadership conference in 2017 and following leadership conference in 2018,” said Mattox.
“Women now have a sense of connection and a place to turn when in need of help and/or mentorship,” she said. “Women leaving our annual conference said they felt motivated to do ‘better than their best’ in their leadership positions and also motivated to make progress towards diversity and inclusion.”
The group intends to work with a national STEM program to reach young women in educational settings. “Our goal is that all of our chapters will develop an effective partnership with their local STEM program and also strong relationships in their local colleges,” said Mattox.
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