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Inclusion for All: Celebrating Women in Engineering, Part III

Aug 16, 2022 3 min read

In the final installment of our Women in Engineering mini-series, two accomplished KLA female engineers share inspiring stories about their backgrounds and challenges – and tell us how they advise their children and young females about a career in technology.

Alexa Greer, Technology Program and Project Manager, Middletown, New York

A strong background in math and science coupled with a desire to learn something completely new inspired Alexa Greer to become an engineer. She started at KLA a few years after graduating from the Rochester Institute of Technology and working for a technology company that is a customer of KLA.

What’s been most rewarding at KLA is engaging with customers to develop new process control technologies and helping integrate the resulting methodologies in production, according to Alexa. Her role includes working on customer data to test ideas and innovation on designs for KLA’s broadband plasma optical wafer inspection systems and other solutions.

Early in her career, she overcame the intimidating experience of being the only woman in meetings by reminding herself that she is just as highly educated as everyone else in the room and has deep knowledge of semiconductor technologies.

Another challenge, she points out, is balancing family needs with work responsibilities, a frequent topic of conversation at meetings of KLA’s Women in STEM Empowered (WISE) employee resource group.

Alexa Greer has successfully balanced work responsibilities with family needs.

“You learn to multitask when work and home overlap. There’s no one formula that works for all women, but successful women find a way to establish a successful balance.”

Alexa Greer, technology program and technology manager

If Alexa could go back in time and have a discussion with her 18-year-old self, what would she say? “Harness an appreciation for the relationships you build because these people become mentors and sponsors who can be strategic to your growth. I’m very excited for young women entering STEM careers. There are many exciting disciplines, and plenty of room for women at the table.”

Christina Wang, Senior Director, Product Marketing, Milpitas, California 

Christina Wang and her family.

Today, Christina Wang has a highly successful career at KLA, where she works mainly in Milpitas, California defining key product strategies that position the company’s next-generation solutions to help address industry technology inflections and customers’ most difficult challenges.

In part, Christina credits her success to mentoring that began in college. A Shanghai, China native, Christina always excelled in math and science in high school while living in Hong Kong, but was uncertain about a career when she started college in the U.S.

When another freshman suggested chemical engineering, she had no idea what an engineer did, but gravitated toward the word “chemistry,” a subject she liked in school. She graduated from University of Michigan and was recruited for a job by KLA.

“My KLA colleagues mentored me in problem-solving, and I learned from them,” she explains. “Everyone continues to be very open – our culture is very collaborative. We share knowledge and experience to develop others.”

Christina has not experienced gender-based biases, explaining, “KLA recognizes people for how well we do our work.”

Christina encourages her two daughters to pursue STEM courses at school and speaks with them about math, science and logical thinking because she believes it’s important they focus on these areas as technologies evolve.

“Women are good engineers because we intuitively bring people together for problem-solving and initiate conversations in a way that’s not competitive. We have more advantages than disadvantages.”

Christina Wang, senior director, product marketing

The UK-based Women’s Engineering Society started the annual International Women in Engineering Day in 2014 to encourage more young women and girls to take up engineering careers.

Check out  part I and part II of our Inclusion for All: Celebrating Women in Engineering series. Be sure to catch up on previous employee spotlights in our Opportunity Ahead, Making the World a Better Place and Inclusion for All series, and don’t forget to browse job openings on the KLA careers page.

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