Women increasingly look beyond their own teams for advocacy and help to step into leadership roles and activities beyond their day-to-day jobs.
Inclusion networks are a way for many companies to allow any employee to raise their hand and try on new roles. At Marvell, Women@Marvell is our first-ever inclusion network, or what many refer to as an Employee Resource Group (ERG). But why women first?
“At Marvell, we are focused on elevating the lives and careers of women, not only in our company, but in the broader industry and the communities where we live and work. Women are largely under-represented in the semiconductor industry and are a hidden wealth of innovation and leadership. Launching our women’s inclusion network is just one small step toward helping women thrive,” noted Janice Hall, EVP and Chief Human Resources Officer and Women@Marvell executive sponsor.
Women@Marvell saw 500 women and men join in its first week. It offers mentoring, meaningful conversations, support and ideas to help members actively seek development opportunities. Leaders often share their influence and open doors, and members help each other find their way in more challenging times of their careers, such as becoming a first-time mother.
Here are the stories of three women who are harnessing the power of Women@Marvell.
Lindsey L., currently a Director in Storage Sales at Marvell, uses her natural ability as a communicator to excel. “My dad ran a marketing agency, so I was always surrounded by creative minds and writers.” She studied abroad while in college and landed in Italy as a copywriter, then worked for an Italian design agency, writing ad copy to describe furniture.
She made a sharp turn into high tech when unemployment was high in 2014 and “applied for any job that was open”, including one for a competitive intelligence analyst at Seagate. She got the job and friends soon called her the “CIA of Seagate”.
“It was way too much fun for a real first job. I got to run around and talk to people – like an investigative reporter. I worked with sources and put together a picture of the market and published reports.” Others at Seagate saw Lindsey’s tenacity. She was soon scooped up by the sales organization; a position that suits her strong work ethic.
Now at Marvell, even though she resides in Minnesota, she’s co-lead of the Women@Marvell chapter in Santa Clara, where Marvell maintains one of its largest sites. The high-tech industry is a very male-dominated industry (where just 25 percent are women on average), with even lower representation in sales and engineering.
Due to her own experiences navigating stereotypes, Lindsey developed a passion for supporting and uplifting fellow females in the workplace. “I want to be a part of creating an environment where employees can openly discuss challenges, facilitate learning, and change the narrative. Marvell is one of the best cultures I’ve seen – it’s wildly unique. As a sales rep, I’m in and out of offices all the time. When you walk into Marvell, you see how many people are smiling; there’s a genuine happiness to our people. Women@Marvell is an extension of that great culture.”
As an electrical and computer engineer (ECE) at Marvell, Catherine C. attributes her mental toughness to her years in the military reserves during college. “Those years were transformative for me. So now, when I put my mind to something, I can tackle anything.”
She quickly progressed in her career in technology. She began at ASIC Alliance, followed by a stint at Aware, both as an electrical engineer, laying the foundation for ASIC design. After 12 years, she found herself at Cavium, which was later acquired by Marvell. Over the past 11 years at Marvell, Catherine shifted her focus to verification.
“I do a lot of coding every day, looking for bugs or problems with the code. It makes me a detective in a way – trying to solve the mystery and looking for clues to solve the bigger problem.”
As one of the two highest-ranking women at Marvell’s Westborough, Massachusetts office, Catherine has found camaraderie and support within Women@Marvell. At her site, she says two exceptional chapter leads open doors to remarkable opportunities. For Catherine, this meant attending a women’s conference recommended by the group and hosted by the Society of Women Engineers (SWE).
“A lot of times, we (engineers) focus so much on our technical skills. So, when I went to the conference, I found a new appreciation for the soft skills discussed, such as: effective leadership, goal setting, navigating the technical vs. managerial tracks, and how to talk to your boss.”
The conference spurred her to devote more time and energy to mentoring, a way for her to give back after so much time in the industry. “The camaraderie I saw at the conference made me realize that many women were grappling with issues that should be common sense; yet we’re all facing the same challenges.”
This year, Catherine has made the transition to being a manager, inspired in part by the conference. “I paid close attention to the talk where two women from Marvell spoke and each took different tracks – one managerial and one technical. “It got me thinking that I’ve been in the technical sphere for so long. So, I naturally moved into managing. It’s a little bit out of my comfort zone but wanted to take the leap.”
Shaila N. is a natural for co-leading the Santa Clara chapter of Women@Marvell, as she is passionate about giving back. With a career spanning 30 years, Shaila has contributed her expertise to 9 different companies, including ARM, IBM, and GlobalFoundries. For her, the excitement of professional growth hinges on diversifying her experiences. Her work has included memory design, ASICs, technology development, and leadership positions within engineering as well as site operations management.
Shaila’s career began in India but later led her to the U.S. for a project assignment, which evolved into an eight-year stay. As her company, Artisan Components, expanded operations in India, she returned there in 2003. “The fact that I had U.S. experience, and people knew my capabilities, allowed me to get exciting work in India. They trusted my leadership.”
In 2018, she returned to the U.S. and currently serves as the Director for Project Management in Storage at Marvell. Shaila’s relentless pursuit of learning and developing her own skills extends to mentoring others on their career journeys.
Insights from Women@Marvell
To learn more about Marvell’s culture and to browse open roles, visit our website: Careers | At Marvell, Your Future is Now - Life at Marvell