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What is the most recent skill you have added to your toolbox?
As I was sharing my recent accomplishments with one of my mentors, she asked me to think of my new skills as new tools added to my toolbox. That conversation gave me a different perspective to reflect on the skills I had collected so far and encouraged me to strategically plan the next steps in my career. I started gravitating toward the idea of this imaginary toolbox and collected skills which adhered to my core values of creating a sustainable and purpose-driven career.
While planning the theme for the 2022 Women’s Leadership Program (WLP) at SMTA International, I discussed this idea with the organizing committee, and it was very well received. We brainstormed on how to bring this idea to reality and enable women colleagues to advance their careers. We realized that taking the time to reflect on the skills you have in your toolbox makes you self-aware and recognize your self-worth. Knowing what you bring to the table helps you build the confidence you need to navigate your career. Hence, the concept of a toolbox seemed appropriate for the WLP, as the goal of this session is to empower women to explore technology innovations and career progression in the electronics industry. I hope you are ready to think about the skills in your toolbox that could help with your career advancement.
The WLP will start with three presentations from women leaders in the electronics industry. These women each have charted a unique career journey which made them invaluable in the organizations they lead. We asked our speakers to share their experiences and what they've learned for the 2022 WLP session with these themes in mind:
- Focus on the career “toolbox” of technical, leadership, and power skills
- Use the analogy of the “tools” for success regarding resources, personal/professional traits
- Consider the actual tools you will need
The presentations will be followed by a speed mentoring session where attendees rotate through a selection of six tables hosted by the invited speakers and SMTA leaders on topics related to leadership skills, power skills, continuous learning, career development, encouraging innovation, etc.
We will wrap up the program with our annual Connection Reception. Earlier this year, the industry lost an inspirational leader with the passing of Irene Sterian of Celestica/REMAP. Irene made many contributions to the industry, the SMTA, and the WLP. Her spark encouraged numerous women to advance their careers in our industry. We will informally celebrate Irene’s passion for engaging with her colleagues during the Connection Reception. We look forward to connecting with you all and discussing the skills in your toolbox.
We extend an invitation to everyone to attend the Women's Leadership Program to promote women in engineering fields. Show your support for diversity in engineering fields by attending this session. It’s free and all are welcome.
This entire article originally appeared in the October 2022 issue of Design007 Magazine.