Search
Select region
Close filter
Human Resources

Global Semiconductor CHRO Roundtable

Discussion Highlights

Egon Zehnder recently hosted a group of Human Resources executives from leading semiconductor companies for a lively conversation and exchange of insights. The discussion centered on several challenges facing the sector and trends that will impact the future of human capital leadership. It was a dynamic session that touched on many themes, of which three stood out: COVID-19 and its implications, diversity and inclusion, and the impact of ongoing geopolitical tensions. The insights and observations discussed on the call are summarized below.

COVID-19 & Its Implications

2020 is a year that has been defined by the coronavirus, and COVID was naturally top of mind for all of the participants. The pandemic has changed the way that we work, perhaps forever, and will have long-ranging effects on the workforce. Participants discussed how their companies are helping to mitigate the challenges facing employees that work from home. In particular, we talked about working parents and what measures can be taken to support women in the workforce who are often primary caregivers and face the difficult task of prioritizing work and family in a time without child care and on-site schooling. The strategies discussed include providing company-sponsored elder and child care, connecting employees with children of other employees for tutoring, and moving employees to part-time or time off to accommodate caregiving needs. Although participants acknowledged that they had not yet seen COVID impact their attrition rates, they discussed ways to maintain relationships and connectivity with employees who may need to take temporary leave from their companies, to more easily re-hire them when circumstances allow in the future.

Although the future after COVID is still unclear, it is likely that the workplace will forever be altered by the virus. Participants discussed returning to the office and how their employees are balancing the desire for an office environment vs. the flexibility to continue to work from home. Ensuring collaboration among creative teams such as engineering and marketing was a key point of discussion, with the point made that the coronavirus has in some cases paradoxically fostered closer relationships between teams, as working from home has “leveled the playing field.” Some participants shared ideas of how to continue this environment of collaboration in a hybrid setting, including designating certain days for teams to go into the office for in-person brainstorming and taking advantage of underutilized space in offices to encourage safe interaction. Participants talked about the difficulties of effectively leveraging a global workforce, especially while each region and country undergoes its own challenges with the coronavirus.

Diversity & Inclusion

In a discussion facilitated by Cynthia Soledad, Egon Zehnder’s Diversity and Inclusion practice leader, participants spoke about the energy they feel in their companies on the topic. The conversation about D&I addressed how to engage the entire talent pool, from interns and Gen Z employees to senior leaders and board members. It included not only the importance of hiring, but retaining a diverse pool of talent. Several participants reported having explicit metrics and incentives to invest in and further D&I progress at their companies. It was also discussed that while US companies put the main focus of D&I on gender and racial diversity in the workforce, the current focus of a major Asia-based company was to develop respect and collaboration between a workforce of increasing cultural diversity.

Geopolitics

Our discussion touched upon the current geopolitical climate, primarily tensions between the West and China. Participants expressed a viewpoint that the supply chain impact resulting from these tensions is an important and ongoing consideration in their ecosystems and investments. The overall consensus of the attendees was that with China as a major market for their companies, substantial investment in China-based employees and in working with Chinese customers would inevitably continue. However, due to the uncertain and dynamic situation, a thoughtful approach to investing and growing in the ecosystem is the way forward.

Egon Zehnder‘s Take

As a trusted advisor to the world’s leading semiconductor companies, we were encouraged to see a high level of engagement and camaraderie during the event that illustrate how collaboration can blossom in areas of common interest, even in the most competitive of industries. Event participants represented 18 leading companies in the sector from across US, Asia, and Europe. The topics of dealing with the COVID pandemic, furthering diversity and inclusion, and thoughtfully navigating through geopolitical tensions were identified to be at the top of the HR leader’s agenda through a pre-event poll. In what has surely been one of the most trying and eventful years in history, we were heartened by the mutual support shown and insights shared.

Topics Related to this Article

Related content

Indonesia CEO Discussion: Lessons Learned from China and Opportunities for the Future

Indonesia CEO Discussion: Lessons Learned from China and Opportunities for the Future

Leadership Advisory

On 6th April, 2020, Egon Zehnder, together with Boston Consulting Group, held a virtual gathering of 20+ CEOs in Indonesia to share their experiences… Read more

Asset Management in Asia

Asset Management in Asia

Asset Management

16 asset management CEOs in Asia discuss leading the way – into and out of the crisis. Read more

Global Luxury Goods CEOs Glimpse a Silver Lining in the Coronavirus Crisis

Global Luxury Goods CEOs Glimpse a Silver Lining in the Coronavirus Crisis

Retail, Apparel and Luxury Goods

Highlights from a digital gathering of CEOs from the global lifestyle and luxury goods’ sector, hosted by Egon Zehnder. Read more

Changing language

Close icon

You are switching to an alternate language version of the Egon Zehnder website. The page you are currently on does not have a translated version. If you continue, you will be taken to the alternate language home page.

Continue to the website

Back to top