In recent years, the semiconductor industry has experienced tremendous growth and has become a cornerstone of technological advancements across various sectors. Recognizing the critical role of semiconductors in driving innovation, the United States government passed the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) Act in 2020 . This legislation aims to revitalize and strengthen the domestic semiconductor manufacturing industry, emphasizing the importance of maintaining a robust and diverse semiconductor workforce.
As the demand for skilled professionals in Very Large Scale Integration (VLSI) and electrical engineering continues to rise, it is imperative to ensure gender diversity and inclusion within the field. Women represent a significant talent pool that can contribute to the revitalization of the semiconductor workforce. However, despite their potential, women remain underrepresented in VLSI and electrical engineering disciplines.
According to recent data from US universities, there is a gender gap in the enrollment of women in VLSI and electrical engineering programs. For example, a study conducted by the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) in 2021 revealed that women accounted for only around 20% of bachelor’s degrees awarded in electrical engineering and computer engineering combined . Furthermore, the numbers decline at the graduate level, with women constituting an even smaller percentage of master’s and doctoral degrees in these fields.
The underrepresentation of women in VLSI and electrical engineering is not only a missed opportunity for talented individuals but also a limitation on the overall progress and innovation within the industry. By increasing the participation and leadership of women in these fields, we can bring diverse perspectives, fresh ideas, and unique problem-solving approaches that lead to breakthrough innovations.
The “V Pay it Forward” program recognizes the need to bridge this gender gap and harness the untapped potential of women in VLSI. By empowering women to pursue graduate studies and careers in VLSI, we can contribute to the revitalization of the semiconductor workforce and help shape the future of technology.
Refer to Our Initiatives: V Pay It Forward to learn more about our program.