Taking a look behind the scenes of companies: In the interview series herWHY, female employees give an insight and a very personal view of their job. They report on how they got there and describe the benefits they bring to the company with their area of responsibility. Learn about the women’s varied paths and get an authentic insight into the company.
Irawati Suwito (Infineon Technologies AG) in the herWHY interview
herCAREER: Why did you choose the company where you are currently employed?
Irawati Suwito: I have worked at Infineon Technologies for more than 13 years now. I have stayed with Infineon for many years as the company has really supported me to develop myself professionally and personally. I consider Infineon as a “people company” – it puts focus on the health and well-being of its employees, it offers different career development options, and it also offers great multi-cultural working environment and exists in multiple countries – all of which are in alignment to my personal interest when choosing my career path.
herCAREER: Can you explain the “why” behind your chosen path? What drives you from a professional and personal perspective?
Irawati Suwito: When I was a kid, I wanted to become a teacher. Being a team leader serves a very similar purpose to my childhood dream job; therefore, seeing my team develop and grow themselves while delivering values to the company is what I consider my ultimate job satisfaction – my “why”.
Another personal driving factor for me is curiosity. Since I am a curious person and am passionate in learning, I am usually fascinated to explore new topics and new places. In the first years of my career with Infineon, I gained process know-how on the front-end production manufacturing aspect of the company by providing automation solutions. A couple of years later I extended the know-how on the back-end manufacturing processes as well. Subsequently, I used my learning from manufacturing to support the Operations Planning department which manages the company’s contract manufacturers in their transactional data management. There, I could enhance my soft skills in communicating and building partnerships with external suppliers. My motivation to change to my current post as an IT Shipment Service Director is to lead the team to deliver robust solutions to support our dynamic business market and to gain further knowledge in supply chain management process especially on “delivery” aspects.
herCAREER: How or where do you have the possibility to shape outcomes / future developments?
Irawati Suwito: As the IT Shipment team, we deliver global shipment solutions for Infineon including external partners worldwide, from raw materials to engineering samples, semi-finished and finished products. Shipment is a critical step in our complex supply chain as our manufacturing processes usually involve multiple countries across the globe. Many recent world events such as COVID, Ukraine-Russia dispute, or a natural disaster could have a potentially significant disruption in our logistics. One of the IT solutions we are building today is a single platform to monitor all our shipments worldwide. Especially in this era of global chip shortage, it is important for us to have reliable delivery and to be able to anticipate any risk which may come as early as we could.
Other than proactive monitoring, another opportunity is to enable as much automation as possible. The Shipping process involves a lot of steps which require handling and data accuracy for smooth delivery, such as packing the right package content, ensuring correct shipping labels, correct customs declaration; all of which could be repetitive and tedious as well as risk prone, if done manually. Here, I see that IT technology could also help improve the accuracy of this process to reduce manual handling effort.
On the leadership perspective, it is important for me to keep the engagement and the motivation of the team members high. Most of us are seated globally and have not met each other in person in the last 2 years, so it is important for me to keep the sense of belonging in the team strong, including making sure that the newly onboarded team members are integrated well because a high-performing, innovative team needs strong collaboration.
herCAREER: Which three professional skills do you think are crucial for the job?
An analytical and problem-solving mindset, curious eyes to explore new advanced technologies, and last but not least, the communication skillset to manage different stakeholders from different departments globally.
herCAREER: Which of your talents in particular do you bring to the table in this job?
I describe problems through visualization to gain all views from the stakeholders and to have a complete understanding of the problems before I come to a decision. Once the decision is made, I ensure execution is properly done by breaking it into smaller, manageable work packages with ownership and following through to support the team along the way. I enjoy doing retrospectives on completed projects or tasks to extract the lessons learned to improve our methods in the next projects we encounter.
I like to work with people from other functions and cultures – this works as an advantage for me when dealing with multiple stakeholders.
I continuously challenge my own ability to adopt changes and to be an active change agent for the benefit of the organization.
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About this person
Irawati Suwito, who is originally from Indonesia, completed her Bachelor’s Degree of Computer Science in University of Wisconsin, Madison (UW-Madison) in the US. After university graduation, she worked for a few years in food & beverages (F&B) and software industries as a customer service representative. In 2007, Irawati started her career in Qimonda as a Systems Analyst, and in 2009, she continued her Systems Analyst role in the Factory Integration department in Infineon Technologies in Singapore. Since then, she has held multiple supply chain and operations roles at different Infineon locations including Singapore, Philippines, and Austria. In 2021, she embarked on her new role in the IT department in Infineon Munich, where she is leading a global IT Shipment team.