As part of our Women in Tech series, we chat to Shyh Chyi Wong - President of RichWave Technology Corp.
Q: What is the biggest accomplishment of your career?
A: When I was working at Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) in the 1990’s, RF devices were manufactured using a DIP process. I found it’s possible to utilize semiconductor process technology to integrate RF components into one IC. Our team was then able to realize this idea.
I am also proud to have established RichWave, a major RF IC supplier on the world market today. Before the company’s establishment, Taiwan was not perceived as a major design and supply base of RF solutions. I was confident that it would be possible to establish a top-tier RF IC design company in Taiwan.
To achieve great things you have to be bold enough to carve your own path and go your own way.
Q: You don’t become a leading engineer or executive in your field by accident – describe your vision, motivation and drive. Did you start out with a clear goal, have you changed direction, and do you anticipate any future changes?
A: My talent for physics showed when I was a senior high school student. I have always taken a keen interest in exploring physics principles. Doing what you love for work is of fundamental importance to keep you moving forward.
You asked me why I chose to lead a team rather than devoting myself to scientific research. It’s a question of choice. After years of work, I found it necessary to create a sound environment to generate good designs and achieve corporate objectives through teamwork. When you find the right direction, you cannot direct like-minded coworkers down the right path without a leader. Therefore, I decided to take responsibility for leading team members in the right direction and accomplish goals altogether.
Although I chose to focus on corporate management, I also make efforts to spend time on improving our products and technology which are at the core of our business.
Q: Women are still a minority in your field. Right or wrong, the perceived differences between men and women are part of the reason there are fewer women in technology. What specific challenges have you faced in making yourself and your accomplishments visible to others in your field? And how have you overcome such challenges?
A: Whether I was at the university or work, women are a minority. I’ve gotten used to it, and know how to work and communicate with men. Actually, I don’t find gender to be a hurdle for me to work in the technology industry.
Q: Who were (are) your influences or mentors? How has their example or guidance helped you?
A: While I was studying for my master’s degree and PhD in the United States, my academic advisor Dr. Lin became a role model and great influence. He is a creative scientist who was the first Chinese to receive the J.J. Ebers Award of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. He taught me to develop creative thinking, probe into the essence of things and ways to formulate research problems. I’ve benefitted from his ways of thinking, and putting them into practice. At present, creativity and differentiation are cornerstones of our company. I was fortunate to have such a mentor of great creativity to inspire me when I was young.
Q: Women often face double duty with family demands and professional advancement. Describe your experience balancing on this “tightrope.”
A: I never struggle to balance work and family commitments. I am lucky to have a thoughtful husband and supportive mother and mother-in-law. My mothers take turns taking care of my children, making me feel carefree while working. Although I don’t spend too much time with my children, I always try to pay as much attention as possible on their daily lives, and help them to plan their futures.
From my work and management experience, I found that every individual is unique. When it comes to educating my children, I understand the differences in their personalities, and then encourage them to choose the schools and jobs that are really suitable for them and able to spark their interests and foster their growth. After all, they are the masters of their own lives.
Q: What should be done to encourage more women to become masters of technology and science and take on greater roles in tech in general?
A: Women have traits that can make them visible in the technology and science fields. First of all, women are more communicative and willing to share their thoughts with others unlike men who say less than necessary. It’s helpful for employees to learn insights from others through communication that helps them think in a different and comprehensive way.
Secondly, they are meticulous and detail-oriented that is very important when doing scientific research or a business. With carefulness, they can observe transistor behaviors and physics phenomena in detail, and also operate a business with considerate planning. In addition, women tend to be more attentive to others with a more nurturing spirit. Therefore, they are expected to be good leaders who can take good care of their team members as well as business tasks.
However, women sometimes seem more hesitant to make decisions, being afraid of destroy interpersonal relationship compared to men. I am training my female employees to be decisive and insist on doing right things without hesitation. I encourage women to achieve their career goals during their lifetimes, making extraordinary contributions to the world.
Dye-jyun Ma is the Chairman at RichWare and Wang’s husband. Running a business with his significant other, he sees Wang as an outstanding female manager who achieves corporate objectives and leads employees in the right direction. “Wang is a visionary and aspiring leader who always stays focused on her goals. She pays plenty of attention to every detail; in the meantime, she can see and sense industry trends early and is dedicated to reaching her goals.”
Persistence is a vital characteristic of successful entrepreneurs. Staying focused and persistent, she has brought the company to the next level.
For more Women in Tech, read the original article series on EE Times US.