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Opportunity Ahead: Facing Challenges Head-On in Dynamic Supply Chain Environment

May 10, 2022 3 min read

When you ask Sharon Yogev, senior director of materials and supply chain for KLA Israel, what it’s like overseeing a dynamic supply chain in the semiconductor industry, she quickly mentions how in-house support from KLA coupled with a military background prepared her to face this complicated role.

Sharon started her new job at KLA Israel in 2003 as a materials planner. Sharon’s boss left the company and, after only 18 months on the job, she was suddenly promoted in what would be an important turning point in her career – leading a team and traveling to the United States. One of the biggest challenges she faced in her first managerial role was managing the rollout of a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) system for KLA Israel, and her experience overseeing combat planning in the Israeli Air Force (IAF) for F-16 fighter jets was a helpful starting point.

“I worked with people much older than me in the IAF, often making the kind of decisive, tough and quick decisions that taking on a major project requires, and KLA offered many tools and opportunities that helped me grow even further as a young leader. The challenges invigorated me, and I knew that I could get the job done.”

Sharon Yogev, senior director, materials and supply chain, for KLA Israel

A Natural Problem Solver

The successful ERP project went live, and Sharon’s trajectory at KLA shot up. The company recognized Sharon’s talent as a strong leader and natural problem solver, and she took on more responsibility as a materials director, leading a 120-employee organization. She was put in charge of supply chain management, embracing the challenge of moving products from design to production, strategic planning and factory sizing.

“As an industrial engineer, I love working on the edge of technology, striving to keep up with dynamic market demands,” she says. “It’s very gratifying to solve technical challenges, to try and balance supply and demand, optimize processes and systems.”

Sharon looks back on the last two years dealing with a global pandemic and interconnected supply ecosystem during a time of tremendous growth at KLA as the biggest test of her career. It’s been a perfect storm of supply chain challenges.

“These are interesting times to be working in the global supply chain and facing the daily challenge of keeping supplies moving to meet customer needs,” she said. “The current situation requires a problem-solving mindset, and I really feel like I was born to be doing this job.”

Supporting Female Talent at KLA

Often being the only woman in the room is something Sharon has always tried to embrace – from technical high school to her military service to being a female engineer.

Sharon Yogev speaks at a convention.

“I view being a woman as a plus because our natural intuition to ‘read the room’ is a strategic advantage,” she says. “I champion women in my field because I think about my daughter. When she grows up, I don’t want her to be the only woman in the room.”

Since 2019, Sharon has helped lead and shape the Israel chapter of KLA’s Women in STEM Empowered (WISE) employee resource group. WISE supports efforts that are targeted to attract and offer more professional growth for female talent at KLA. WISE members also help build an inclusive environment through education and awareness.

Sharon, for example, has helped the Israel chapter drive programs that provide scholarships to young women with high potential, making it possible for them to focus on academics and careers in STEM and beyond.

“WISE sparks curiosity and promotes equality,” Sharon says. “Participating young women are mentored and supported to be more visible in the company and, if needed, gain confidence. The group offers a safe place where we can speak candidly and everyone is heard. I am so proud of KLA for investing resources and truly supporting inclusion and diversity.”

Sharon’s advice to young women considering a STEM field of study or career is simple: “Dare to try! Sometimes, our fear of failure can hold us back. Use your fear to your advantage and channel it.”

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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