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Diversity In Action

Infineon Technologies nurtures diversity around the world

EEs, MEs, IEs and ChEs with semi experience are welcome at Infineon. Engineers are encouraged to accept career-enhancing assignments abroad


Don O'Grady: "You can enhance your career by taking an assignment abroad."

Don O'Grady: "You can enhance your career by taking an assignment abroad."

Infineon Technologies manufactures semiconductors and system solutions for consumer electronics, communication devices, automotive electronics and memory products, microcontrollers and chip card ICs. The company focuses on three business groups: automotive; industrial and multimarket; and communication and memory products.

Infineon has a significant operation in North America with more than 3,000 employees. The Richmond, VA site, the largest Infineon manufacturing facility in the U.S., employs more than 2,000 people and runs 24/7.

Infineon was formerly part of German high-tech giant Siemens. It spun off in 1999 and went public in 2000.

According to Don O'Grady, HR VP for Infineon Technologies North America, most of the job ops in the U.S. fall into categories of design engineering and sales and marketing. EEs, MEs, IEs and ChEs are all welcome at Infineon, but the company likes job applicants to have three or more years of semiconductor experience.

"We expect quite a bit of growth in the automotive electronics sector next year because manufacturers are putting more and more electronic content in their cars," says O'Grady. "I would expect us to continue to hire to support that sector of the business.

Infineon's engineers have opportunities to travel and be part of international projects. The company also has an eighteen-month rotation program for new hires in which a recent BS, MS or PhD grad spends at least one six-month rotation abroad.

"We bring employees from our worldwide sites to the U.S. for temporary assignments, and we send U.S. people to our locations in Singapore, China and Germany," says Kathy Larson, staffing and international assignment manager.

"It's very interesting for them, and I think it gives our corporate culture a different flavor when they relay their international experiences."

O'Grady himself spent two years working for Infineon in Germany and believes his global perspective is an asset to the company. "We are a German company and a significant number of our opportunities are in Europe or Asia. You can certainly enhance your career in North America if you're willing to take an assignment abroad," he remarks.

"Just in North America we have employees from over twenty-five countries. A lot of people are attracted to an organization where diversity is very evident."

Infineon has two diversity councils, one in Richmond, VA and one in Raleigh, NC. "The issues we have in Raleigh are different from those in Richmond, but at the same time the councils can share ideas. We're expanding both of them to be more like outreach programs," says O'Grady.

Mentoring, especially woman-to-woman, is also in the works. And a training program on managing diversity is popular with employees, O'Grady adds. "Because we are so diverse, it's important that we make people aware of the many subtle differences that may require a certain style of leadership."

Community involvement is also big at Infineon. The company participates in Habitat for Humanity and other charitable organizations. Through the Infineon Foundation, employees can request funding to sponsor community activities.

Last spring, for example, "We put together a program to provide summer jobs for high school students," says Larson. "The idea was to introduce them to high-tech fields like ours and spur their interest in high-tech jobs."

Infineon has a very flexible time-off policy. There's no structured holiday schedule. Instead, employees get a pool of hours to use any way they like. The company is also flexible about telecommuting.


Infineon Technologies

Headquarters: Munich, Germany (world HQ), San Jose, CA (U.S. HQ)
Employees: 35,600 worldwide including 7,000 engineers
Revenues: $8.93 billion in 2004
Business: Semiconductors and systems


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