Published on: November 6, 2020 by Blair Haas
As I have noted elsewhere, Bud Industries, the best known manufacturer of electronic enclosures, is a sponsor of the Women in Electronics Annual Leadership Conference. Bud has strongly supported many organizations within our industry from EIA (the Electronic Industry Association) to its successor trade group, the ECIA. I was fortunate to serve on the board of the former for many years and to help found the latter about a decade ago. One of the often stated goals of all of these organizations was to promote our industry and make it an attractive career choice for the best and brightest from around the world. In our meetings we often lamented that fewer women were drawn to the industry, noting that at most there would be one or two women in not only the leadership of our association but only a handful in key leadership roles throughout our members. We recognized that if we did not do a better job of outreach we were depriving ourselves of some of the best and most skilled. Alas, good intentions only took us so far. Therefore, I was delighted when Women in Electronics was founded in 2017. Its goal is simple, to support the professional and personal leadership development of women in the Electronics Industry.
I only recently learned that this organization supported men in attendance at their events although I should have guessed it from their focus on developing a diverse work force. We were drawn to the conference by its strong agenda and how they developed it with timely topics in mind and appear to have effectively pivoted to virtual. The agenda ranges from gaining a better awareness to the impact of the lack of gender parity to helping all identify their hidden gender biases. There is then a timely breakout session on dealing with the Zoom era, whether it is how to create better presentations, use zoom and other techniques to effectively reach your customers, to dealing with and thriving in a time of change (is there ever not a time of change?). The irrepressible Michael Knight from TTI will offer his thoughts on the evolution and future of our supply chain and if you have not heard Michael speak, you have a great opportunity to listen to one of the top thinkers in our industry. After a council advisory panel discussion on why this is more than political correctness, John Maxwell will speak on the “shift” principals for Growth and Innovation.
For those of you that don’t know, Bud is a family business and coincidentally, it is a very male dominated family. My grandfather started the business in 1928 and my father was an only child. I am one of four boys and my wife and I also had four boys. We are blessed with, you guessed it, two grandsons. So why would we be so interested in supporting Women in Electronics? One way you survive in this business for 92 years is attracting the best talent to your company. Like most, we can do better, but we believe that adding diversity to our company not only increases the potential labor pool but adds perspectives and solutions that create more opportunities for us to continue in business for generations to come. Take some time out of your day on Tuesday and sign up to attend the WIE conference