Manufacturing is the heartbeat of many major organizations, and at Intel this is certainly true. The majority of Intel’s manufacturing and research and development is in the United States, creating high-precision, high-value, IP-driven products that enable industries and businesses to innovate around the world.
In honor of Manufacturing Day on October 5 – hosted by the National Association of Manufacturers to celebrate manufacturing and inspire young manufacturers to take up the trade – we’re celebrating our employees who power our manufacturing and R&D activities.
But there’s a major issue facing the manufacturing industry today – an estimated two-million-worker shortfall over the next decade. Currently, women make up less than one-third (29%) of the overall U.S. manufacturing workforce.
It’s clear we have an opportunity to educate, train and recruit more women to pursue manufacturing careers. Many women interested in STEM may not be exposed to manufacturing as a career full of creative problem-solving and leadership opportunities. It’s important to show what’s possible instead of focusing on the barriers.
So, this Manufacturing Day, we’re highlighting three women who make a difference every day in manufacturing. They’re sharing more about their path to manufacturing, the work they do and advice for women interested in pursuing a manufacturing career.
Factory and Plant Manager, Technology Manufacturing Group, Intel
Katie is a factory and plant manager who oversees nearly 1,000 employees, with a focus on day-to-day operations as well as current and future planning. Ownership of both the day-to-day and long-term direction of the factory is an incredibly challenging role, one that requires both strategic and tactical thinking. No two days have been the same for Katie, who has spent 24 years at Intel—working as an engineer, followed by various management roles, and currently one and a half years as the factory manager—and is still excited every day to conquer the challenges associated with making some of the most complicated products in the world.
Her advice: Own your career. Be clear about what you want to do, be willing to try different paths to get there and don’t give up. Work with managers, peers and mentors to identify career opportunities and make sure advocates know your interest and skills.
Thermal Mechanical Tooling Manager, Technology Manufacturing Group, Intel
As a young student, Taesha loved math, design and problem-solving, and decided to pursue engineering as a career. After earning an undergraduate degree in physics from Xavier University of Louisiana and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Georgia Tech, she was offered several positions but decided to join Intel based on the unique challenges posed in silicon semiconductor engineering. After 17 years at Intel, Taesha manages a team of mechanical design engineers who are tasked with developing solutions to test the product roadmap and make sure that every product that leaves Intel is perfect. Her team also designs mechanical solutions to test future products. The difference in each challenge is what excites Taesha, along with the chance to work with her team of ambitious problem-solvers who “keep the ideas coming.”
Her advice: Don’t limit yourself to any particular field just because you don’t see a certain gender, race or culture represented. Go after your dreams. Manufacturing can be very satisfying if you are a problem-solver and enjoy challenges.
Back-End Metals Manager, Technology Manufacturing Group, Intel
Since her sophomore year in high school, Sandra knew that she wanted to pursue chemical engineering. Her love of math and chemistry drove her to earn her bachelor’s degree from the University of Puerto Rico. Sandra joined the Intel manufacturing team 17 years ago. She and her team solve the problems that ensure smooth production of Intel’s chips. She thrives on the challenging and fast-paced nature of the work. Her enthusiasm has also inspired her to be the coach for the Women at Intel: Network of Ocotillo Women employee resource group, dedicated to the development, support and integration of technical women at Intel’s Ocotillo campus.
Her advice: It’s a great time to choose a career in STEM, especially for women. There is so much demand for new technology—and for women to fill these roles.
Dawn Jones is the director of policy and external partnerships, global diversity and inclusion at Intel Corp.