As we observe International Women’s Day on March 8, it’s a time to celebrate the contributions and achievements of women at Lam and in our industry. It’s also an important opportunity to reflect on the progress made and the work ahead to build a more equitable future.
The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on well-being and the balancing of work and family responsibilities are well known. It’s not controversial to say that women shouldered a disproportionate share of those burdens. In their Women in the Workplace report, LeanIn.Org and McKinsey & Company found that “women are more burnt out than they were a year ago and that burnout is escalating much faster among women than men.” While Lam is not insulated from those challenges, I am proud that our global team has demonstrated great resiliency through these difficult times.
To support our employees, we made real commitments to fostering a more diverse and inclusive workplace, and in the past year, we have taken several significant actions to improve benefits, reinforce our culture and values, and drive meaningful progress on gender equity.
I am thrilled about new benefits that provide women at Lam even greater support where it matters. In September 2021, I announced enhancements to our U.S. parental leave policy to give birth mothers at least six months of leave, and 16 paid weeks for all other new parents. Since then, we have expanded our parental leave policies globally.
Just this month, we began enrolling U.S. employees in a student loan assistance program. Student debt burdens can delay retirement or the purchase of a home. According to the American Association of University Women, student debt disproportionately affects women and people of color, and our student assistance program aims to mitigate that burden and support them in actively investing in their future.
Our Core Values have stood unchanged since their creation, until August 2021 when we added Inclusion and Diversity (I&D) to the list. I consider this the strongest possible signal of our commitment to cultivating a thriving, diverse, and inclusive workforce.
Our employee resource groups (ERGs) are fundamental to shaping a more inclusive culture. With three new groups launched in 2021, we now have nine dedicated women’s ERGs in five countries. You can learn more about the Women of Southeast Asia ERG in this blog post from the group’s executive sponsor Andrew Goh.
Leadership accountability and role modeling are essential to meeting this commitment, so we embedded an inclusion index within our annual employee survey to measure employee sentiment and have asked every leader to set an inclusion goal as part of their performance and development plan.
As we shared in our latest Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) report, representation of women at Lam is trending up in the U.S. and globally, and we are now tracking gender intersectionality with ethnicity and the percentage of women among our technical staff, new hires, managers, executives, and Board of Directors. By measuring and sharing these demographics, we underscore our commitment to further progress.
We are proud of our progress to date and the partnerships that help us provide an engaging experience for every employee. Our recent recognition as a Top Female-Friendly Company by Forbes is a great milestone in our journey toward creating an environment where diverse backgrounds and perspectives are welcomed, heard, and valued. We’re committed to continuing to explore opportunities, take the pulse of our employees, and drive for continuous improvement and impact.