As an international company with nearly 30,000 employees in a variety of markets across the globe, NXP’s workforce is more diverse than ever before. As a result, our focus on diversity, equality and inclusion (DE&I) is at the forefront of the culture we want to build at NXP, because it fosters the company’s values and fuels the innovation our stakeholders expect from us. And just as the worldview on DE&I is changing, so are NXP efforts.
Head of Diversity, Equality and Inclusion at NXP Semiconductors
Meet Sherry Alexander, NXP’s new head of diversity, equality and inclusion. Sherry has a long history in the tech industry and a varied background that is tailor-made for her new role. As an experienced electrical engineer, Sherry understands the needs of technologists. Through her experience during her MBA and several years as a global quality director working with NXP’s business lines, as well as global sales and marketing and operations, she has hands-on experience with NXP across the globe. Sherry has over 20 years of active engagement in various ethnic- and gender-specific affinity groups and spearheaded professional development and mentorship programs at several industrial firms. As an African American woman, she’s faced her own workplace diversity issues head-on.
Diversity of thought, perspective and experience becomes greatly multiplied when it spans across ethnicity, gender, age and sexual orientation. Such diversity fuels innovation, creativity and better decision making.
- Sherry Alexander
“The opportunity to collaborate with NXP management and colleagues across the globe on the journey to establish a more diverse and inclusive culture at NXP is beyond exciting for me,” said Sherry. “Diversity of thought, perspective and experience becomes greatly multiplied when it spans across ethnicity, gender, age and sexual orientation. Such diversity fuels innovation, creativity and better decision making.”
The proof is in the numbers. A McKinsey report found that companies in the top quartile for racial and ethnic diversity were 35% more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians. Those in the top quartile for gender diversity were 15% more likely to have above-average returns. And employees also support DE&I, with 61% believing diversity and inclusion strategies are not only beneficial, but essential.
A More Equal NXP
This year, Sherry has defined three strategic priorities to help make NXP a more diverse, equal and inclusive company:
- Demonstrating leadership commitment and accountability
NXP’s commitment from leadership begins at the top, starting with our CEO Kurt Sievers. Kurt recently joined the Board of Directors for the Global Semiconductor Alliance (GSA), and signed the GSA Women’s Leadership Initiative CEO Pledge . Sherry notes that in terms of accountability, for the first time ever, NXP’s 2020 CSR Report includes a breakdown of NXP employees’ ethnic and gender diversification. Additionally, NXP aims achieve greater diversity and inclusion across the company at every level.
- Fostering a more diverse, equal and inclusive environment starts with the words we use
NXP kicked off an Inclusive Language Project to identify and remove language from our internal and external communications which may be perceived as discriminatory or insensitive. This multi-team, global initiative, activated over the last year and spearheaded by NXP CTO Lars Reger, has benefitted from incredible internal engagement as well as effective external partnerships with global standardization groups to raise awareness, share best practices and lobby to reach a consensus on implementing standard replacement terminology.
- Building and sustaining a qualified, diverse talent pipeline and management process
This includes expanding initiatives to engage and recruit more diverse candidates, including students, recent college grads and existing talent in the marketplace, as well as fostering employee engagement through employee resource groups to give NXP team members a voice and involve them in driving DE&I at all levels of the company. At the senior level, NXP aims to further diversify its Board of Directors with the recent nominations of two new board members who meet this important criteria (to be voted on by NXP shareholders at the company’s annual general meeting on May 26).
“NXP’s DE&I program includes aligning our culture with societal changes in a way that provides all employees with a sense of belonging,” Sherry said. “I think it’s that collaboration and the work we do together that makes this such an exciting journey.”
A More Equal World
When asked what today’s global workforce – particularly tech industry workers – should do to be more diversity-aware in their everyday work life, Sherry gave some practical advice.
“For us to achieve and benefit from equality, each of us must appreciate and celebrate diversity within our own company, and – more broadly – in society as well,” she explained.
“Our company consists of thousands of unique individuals, each with a different background, history and experiences. To leverage this diversity in ways that create a more inclusive culture, at NXP for example, we encourage employees to look both internally and externally,” Sherry said.
“Understanding our multicultural world, recognizing and challenging personal biases and bringing a willingness to talk, listen and learn will lead to greater equality. As a result, our hope is that employees will benefit not only professionally, but personally as well. Celebrating diversity will undoubtedly lead to healthier and more productive lives.”