How Can Diversity Improve the Microwave, RF, and Wireless Workforce?

Sep 17, 2015 | Posted by: Sherry Hess

This past April, I attended the WIE (Women in Engineering) Leadership Conference in Silicon Valley. Outside of the initial shock of seeing an audience of 99 percent technical females, the next awe factor was the lineup of keynote speakers -- CEO Lisa Su from AMD, CTO Sophie Vanderbroek of Xerox, CIO Rebecca Jacoby of Cisco, VP Patty Hatter of Intel, to name a few. For me, one of the most impactful talks was actually given by a male, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich. Why? Because he raised my awareness of the diversity challenge he has issued to his company and the entire industry. 

Many sources say diversity is good for business. One article says raising women’s participation in the work force to the same level as men could raise the GDP by:

  • 5 percent in the U.S.
  • 9 percent in Japan
  • 34 percent in Egypt

Sophie Vandebroek said in her WIE presentation that diversity and inclusiveness is a business imperative, not only an innovation imperative. Brian Krzanich says data suggests that best-in-class companies with the highest level of racial diversity generated 15 times more sales that those with the lowest levels. Pankaj Patel (EVP, CDO, Cisco) said at WIE, “We all know it is the right thing to do. But most importantly, it is great for business.”

The momentum is building. I will be participating at upcoming IEEE MTT-S WIM-sponsored diversity panel sessions at COMCAS in Israel (November 2, 2015) and APMC in China (December 7, 2015).

Join the conversation on diversity in the months ahead online at LinkedIn at