GlobalFoundries Celebrates International Women's Day + Highlighting Jennifer Clark
The Council of Industry recognizes International Women’s Day, which took place on March 8. This day celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women all over the world. In the case of manufacturers, women make up approximately 30 percent of the industry. We acknowledge the women in our field who have helped develop and improve manufacturing in the Hudson Valley.
Council of Industry member, GlobalFoundries (GF) at the East Fishkill site, celebrated International Women’s Day with this year’s theme, “Break the Bias.” The theme of the celebration is to uncover the biases women face in the workplace and how to overcome them. GLOBALWOMEN, who presented the event, is an initiative at GF, whose mission is to “create a sustainable framework for the professional development of women at GF, working in partnership with allies to drive initiatives that have a positive impact on our people, culture and business.” The celebration kicked off with a video highlighting four kinds of gender bias women face. GF recognized 15 outstanding female employees at the East Fishkill site as 2022 Honorees and Change Agents for the GF values of Create, Partner, Deliver, and Embrace. Over 90 employees attended the virtual celebration.
The Council of Industry spoke with Jennifer Clark, Director of Manufacturing Operations at GF, for whom equality for women in the workplace holds an important role in her career. As treasurer of Mid Hudson Region Society of Women Engineers, which aims to empower women in engineering and tech careers, Clark has seen major strides in the industry, but acknowledges there is much work to be done for overcoming bias. She discusses unconscious bias and its potential to create prejudice against women in the field. “A powerful tool for combating the bias is listening and being really curious,” she says. Clark commends her female colleagues and the unique edge they bring to the manufacturing field, aside from their skill set. “In my experience, a lot of women are really good listeners. They’re good with intuition about things and people and they know how to read body language to help address a situation. They’re not afraid to ask questions and dig a little deeper,” she says.
Clark’s introduction to manufacturing began as a 17-year-old in a northeast Ohio high school. She landed an internship in the quality department of a company in the steel industry and went on to pursue chemical engineering in college. Clark explains she was a shy and quiet person in high school, but developed her leadership style through experience. “Back then, I definitely didn't feel like a leader. But [the internship] gave me an opportunity to break out of my shell. I'm so thankful for the opportunities I had because of it,” she says. In her previous experiences, she explains it was common for manufacturing companies to be male-dominated; however, she sees more diversity today and encourages women to pursue careers in the industry. “You may be the only woman in the room, but it doesn’t mean you don’t belong there,” she says. “The only way to move closer to gender equity is to break down barriers and do it together.” Read more about Clark’s story here.