Culture & People

International Women’s Day: SK hynix celebrates its female employees

By March 10, 2020 March 20th, 2020 No Comments

At SK hynix, we do technology because we believe that it is the foundation of social change. Our employees are always looking for ways to positively impact the organization and make a difference in the industry and the world. We are a very diverse and fast-paced culture where people are strong-willed and passionate about their jobs.

This year, SK hynix celebrated International Women’s Day at its various offices around the world honoring the achievements and the hard work of our female employees. Initially, this holiday appeared as a day of struggle for women’s rights. However, nowadays, the mood of the holiday itself has changed. It is a day that not only highlights the importance of gender equality and the roles that women play in every sector, but also serves as a reminder for all to be more proactive in bringing diversity and inclusion.

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Across the company globally, women received congratulations from colleagues. For International Women’s Day 2020, SK hynix America turned purple, with everything from t-shirts to cupcakes and macarons.

Event at SK hynix America celebrating International Women’s Day

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SK hynix memory solutions Eastern Europe (SKHMS E) has celebrated the holiday for five straight years and International Women’s Day is now considered an official day off from work for the country. For the day, SKHMS E had organized masterclasses including health and wellness workshops as well as pop art painting and floral arrangement sessions. This year, SKHMS E held Cinema Evening to celebrate the holiday.

Female colleagues of SK hynix memory solutions Eastern Europe

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To honor our women employees and learn about what they thought about the global celebrations, we took some time to chat with several women about their impressive careers, the working environment, and advice for women looking to join the industry.

Natalia Ryzhenkova, Head of SK hynix memory solutions Eastern Europe

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Natalia Ryzhenkova, Head of SK hynix memory solutions Eastern Europe

Tell us a little bit about your career and what are some of the highlights or proudest accomplishments of your time here?

I started my journey with SKHMS E in July 2014, practically from the first days of its foundation. I’m very happy to be with the company and to take part in its continuous growth and development. I feel very proud to have been appointed as the head of SKHMS E last year.

For more than five years of working for the company, I’ve noticed we’ve managed to create not only professional but personal relationships based on honesty, trust and mutual respect.

The NAND industry is one of the most innovative, and it demands us to keep up with the latest trends and try to be on the cutting edge. So, one of the main goals for us is to forge ahead and improve our personal and professional development. I am happy that I have a job that motivates me for new achievements.

SKHMS E is one of SK hynix’s global R&D centers, and in order to have consistent results we need to be one team all over the world. Our teamwork and an achievement spirit will help to accomplish our most important goals.

What makes women so valuable in this industry?

Generally, women and men think differently, and therefore that creates two categories of user experience. Technology is our reality; we use it every day. For companies to continue to be innovative, they must take into account both male and female user experiences, as the combined experience brings more diversity.

In your opinion, what needs to happen to encourage more women to join the field?

Nowadays, engineering professions are starting to be more popular among women as they have a strong desire to learn and see opportunities for how they can grow professionally in the world of innovation. We are also witnessing that more and more women are entering both regular- and high-level positions in the technology industry.

A lot more can be done to encourage women to join the field. For example, providing information and discussions to highlight successful stories about women’s achievements in the engineering and IT sphere would be beneficial for young women to become interested in the field. The media should speak more on this topic, and motivate women to grow in the technology industry.

Others may include creating conditions that take into account the needs of a family, such as providing support with childcare.

In your experience, how does SK hynix encourage and support women here?

The company knows that, in order to succeed, every member should play his or her own significant role and that they are the most important value of our company.

In SKHMS E, we support diversity and equal opportunities based on personal skills and knowledge. All employees, especially women, are highly appreciated and evaluated as well as encouraged to try new things out, overcome challenges and grow professionally. We also take great care of our members’ health and wellbeing.

All these provide our team the possibility to come out on top in all projects, tasks and initiatives.

Rene (Eunsook) Chostner, Director of Venture Investment team

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Rene (Eunsook) Chostner, Director of Venture Investment team, SK hynix America

Please describe your current position at SK hynix?

As an Investment Director, I drive venture investments that are strategically relevant to our business of today and tomorrow. The investments are a vehicle to understand and leverage innovative technologies and disruptive business models in the semiconductor space and also adjacent industries that our products serve.

I began as a business strategist at a semiconductor company and evolved my career based on where my curiosity and passion took me. A mix of strategy, product marketing, management consulting, and business development roles has led me to my current role in venture investments.

What do you think is the biggest issue today facing women at work?

There are non-discriminatory laws and company policies in place, but sexism that is commonly encountered is more subtle and evasive, such as unconscious bias and boys’ club culture. These are problematic not only because they contribute to a non-inclusive corporate culture, but more so because they perpetuate inequality in access to opportunities and the gender pay gap.

What needs to be done to get more women interested in the semiconductor industry?

When there are more leader figures that women can relate to and look up to, the semiconductor industry will naturally draw more women. Fortunately, we are starting to see more women in leadership positions, and each individual is unique and possesses different strengths. I was happy to learn that SK hynix America was celebrating International Women’s Day this year.

Based on your own experience, what messages would you deliver to women considering pursuing a career in the semiconductor industry?

Today, semiconductors underpin the must-win technologies of the future, such as artificial intelligence, quantum computing, and advanced wireless networks, making it a very exciting place to be.

Jessie Qian, Director of Wuxi IT, SK hynix Semiconductor (China) Ltd.

Can you give us a brief introduction to your day-to-day work?

I am responsible for manufacturing enforcement (Manufacturing Execution System, shortly known as MES). It’s the big brain for the factory. The automation systems within the plant requires the MES to carry out the order.

As a working woman, how do you balance work and family life?

For working women, the child’s birth will bring about earth-shaking changes. Achieving a balance between child-rearing and work can be a big problem. I want to tell every working mother, first of all, to accept this change in life. In the necessary circumstances we also need to learn and ask for help, do not carry all the pressure on one person. This is also a way to take care of yourself, and to care about your family and work on the premise of caring yourself first and then to care about family and work.

What makes women so valuable in this industry and what messages would you deliver to women considering pursuing this type of career?

I hope girls don’t set limits on themselves. In fact, women can choose their work from lots of industries. Besides, they need to recognize their strengths first. For example, my ability is to analyze logic, and this has nothing to do with gender. Regardless of gender, finding a suitable job for yourself will also drive your growth. So, for the people who are new to the profession, you need to concern whether you can adapt to your job or not, and you’re happy or not. This will widen your career path.

Colleagues celebrating IWD at SK hynix America

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SK hynix Looking Forward

The International Women’s Day celebration at SK hynix was a very meaningful day for everyone in the company, and we need to continue this positive momentum to take vital steps forward to encourage gender equality in not only the technology industry but for all.

“The diversity in businesses is critical to making better business decisions and increasing company performance and productivity,” said Sam Lee, Head of SK hynix America. “In particular, gender diversity has shown to be one of the key drivers to sustainability, creativity and innovation in business.”

We were proud to hear from some of our great women who have overcome hurdles and barriers to excel to where they are today. We admire their experience, their drive and their commitment to inspiring younger generations and ultimately grow the presence of women in the semiconductor industry.

Let’s all think, act and be more gender-inclusive. Happy International Women’s Day!