Paving the Way to Inclusion for Women Engineers

As the leader in materials engineering solutions used to produce virtually every new chip and advanced display in the world, Applied Materials knows that having a workforce representing different perspectives, backgrounds and experiences is essential to delivering innovations that Make Possible a Better Future.

As part of our strategy to foster a meaningful Culture of Inclusion at Applied, we have set goals to increase women’s representation in our U.S. workforce and globally. One of the ways we are making progress on those goals is through our Women in Engineering Talent Development Program (WE TDP). This two-year program creates career development opportunities for women through networking, mentorships, individual development planning, conference participation, and professional skill development workshops.

Since its establishment in 2016, the WE TDP has grown from a pilot program of 34 members representing one of Applied’s business units to nearly 200 members and alumni representing 10 business units and spanning 14 locations across the U.S. WE TDP participants have improved their performance ratings and 43 percent of year-two members and alumni have received promotions.

That includes Alison Nalven, a Hillsboro, Oregon-based 2021 WE TDP graduate who says the program enabled her to make the jump from an Applications Engineer to Operations Manager. 

“When I enrolled in WE TDP, I knew I wanted to stay at Applied in Oregon, but I also wanted a change and didn’t know what my options were,” said Nalven. “The two most important things the program provided me were a framework for thinking about my development and career goals, as well as networking opportunities.”

After conducting informational interviews, observing different jobs, and exploring the various career paths available, she gained more clarity. “I realized that I really wanted to manage people and see more of the business,” said Nalven, who now manages a team of 20 customer engineers and is pursuing a master’s degree in engineering management.

Loanne Luu, Vice President of Strategic Program Management in Applied’s Semiconductor Products Group and Executive Sponsor for WE TDP, says programs like WE TDP are a steppingstone for women to embrace greater challenges. Through her role as executive sponsor, she hopes to inspire the next generation of women leaders by showing them what is possible.

woman smiling with yellow shirt and black blazer“The semiconductor industry is in a phenomenal position with high-growth opportunities and an increasing need for highly innovative solutions,” said Luu. “Strong, intelligent women who want to solve high-value problems now have an excellent opportunity to show what they can bring to the table. Our industry is a great place to take innovation to the next level.”

She encourages all women to venture outside of their comfort zone and explore their own potential.

“Don’t wait for someone to empower or give you the authority to take charge and lead something,” said Luu. “It may sound bold, but if there is an opportunity to solve a high-value problem, take the opportunity, run with it and drive results—even if it is beyond your job scope.”

More information about Applied’s diversity and inclusion goals and progress can be found in our latest Sustainability Report. Interested in joining our team? Visit our careers page to explore Applied’s current job openings around the world.

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