Partner Spotlight

Building and Strengthening a Culture of Inclusion

Insights from Pamela Sherman, Managing Director, Culture of Inclusion

Pamela Sherman, Managing Director of Culture of Inclusion at Applied Materials.

Why did you join the Alliance for Global Inclusion?

Applied Materials is committed to a culture of inclusion that promotes equity and belonging, and empowers our people to bring their best self to work. We are inspired by the diversity of backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences, knowing they help foster stronger and more resilient teams.

As the world continues to grapple with complex social challenges, we will continue to advance our multiyear strategic imperative to identify and eliminate systemic barriers to inclusion and expand the diversity of our workforce. We’re helping build a future talent pipeline through STEM education initiatives with colleges, universities, and nonprofit partners serving middle and high school students.

In support of these initiatives, Applied joined the Alliance for Global Inclusion with other companies committed to improving diversity and inclusion across industries. We are combining our collective power and resources of our global organizations to bring inclusivity and equity to the workplace and align on a set of shared commitments and metrics to track progress.

What DEI advancements have you made at Applied Materials that you are proud of?

Applied’s focus on strengthening our Culture of Inclusion (COI) and expanding our workforce’s diversity is global and starts at the top.

Our CEO Gary Dickerson continues to emphasize that he wants Applied to set the standard for what it means to be a more welcoming, inclusive community – where everyone can thrive and grow their careers. Our senior executives are engaged and driving the COI strategy globally to support transformational and sustainable change. We want to ensure that everyone at Applied knows and feels they belong.

Our global COI strategy is being delivered locally worldwide to ensure the relevant actions are identified and implemented to drive meaningful change across our locations.

We recently launched Gary’s vision of a DEI Engine to accelerate the desired outcomes of our COI Strategy and achieve our 2030 global diversity goals to increase the representation of women globally and underrepresented minorities (URMs) in the U.S. to demonstrate our commitment to having a workforce that better reflects market availability.

Through the Applied Materials Foundation’s Generation Girl® initiative, we collaborate with U.S. nonprofit organizations to strengthen girls’ self-confidence and grow interest and engagement in STEM subjects. Since 2018, Generation Girl has served more than 36,000 girls, with over 60% of participants coming from low-income households and identifying as Black, Latina, or Native American.

Recently, in collaboration with Last Mile Education Fund, we established the Applied Materials Momentum Fund, accelerating the next generation of women in engineering. Through the Momentum Fund, we will provide flexible financial support to increase graduation rates for women engineers facing financial hardship. In addition to funding, Applied will also offer dedicated internships and networking opportunities with our employees, helping scholars gain industry experience and grow their list of contacts in the semiconductor ecosystem. With this new program, Applied Materials and the Applied Materials Foundation will support girls and young women beginning in kindergarten with career-growing access to opportunities and pathways in the semiconductor industry.

Additionally, we join other companies in partnering with organizations such as Reboot Representation. Reboot aims to double the number of Black, Latina, and Native American women receiving computing degrees by 2025.

Please see our 2022 Sustainability Report to learn more about our strategy and accomplishments over the past year.

What is your/Applied Materials’ philosophy for inclusive leadership?

As leaders at Applied Materials, our collective responsibility is to support our company in upholding our commitment to strengthening our Culture of Inclusion. We must take action together to build a more inclusive culture and expand the diversity of our workforce across all levels of the organization.

Actions for Inclusive Leadership

  1. Define and model inclusive leadership behaviors for your organization.
  2. Build leader accountability and clarify expectations by designing a set of inclusive leadership principles that have meaning for your organization.
  3. Practice Inclusive coaching by ensuring all employees have access to on-the-job development and coaching opportunities.
  4. Build connections with skip-level meetings to gain insights with members of your larger team. Focus on those who may be at risk of leaving, but you may also choose to hold skip-level meetings with many of the direct reports of your direct reports.
  5. Identify and remove systemic barriers to understand the real issues that prompt employees to stay and leave your organization.