Without the women in the optical industry, STL wouldn’t be where it is today!

Without the women in the optical industry, STL wouldn’t be where it is today!

In the pursuit of excellence and innovation, every day, we are recognizing the invaluable contribution that diversity brings to the table. When individuals with diverse ways of thinking collaborate, it creates a fertile ground for creativity and problem-solving. 

But true diversity, particularly diversity of thought goes beyond having individuals with varying perspectives in a group. It requires the fostering of an environment where diverse ideas are not only present but are also actively encouraged, valued, and integrated into decision-making processes. 

Only real inclusion will serve as a catalyst for inspiring diversity of thought and, hence, fostering innovation and overall success for our company.

Embracing this inclusive diversity is not just about meeting quotas; it is about acknowledging and leveraging the unique perspectives or skills that different backgrounds, nationalities, ethnicities, beliefs, or genders bring to the professional arena. 

Historically, many groups, and women in particular, have faced barriers to entry and advancement in professional spheres. It is, therefore, commendable that STL has always kept this inclusive mindset in the workplace, not only as a moral imperative but also as a differentiating advantage.

Let’s look a bit closer at the power of inclusion.   It is clear that innovation thrives on diversity of thought, and diversity of thought thrives on inclusion.

AT&T Bell Laboratories embraced Dr. Shirley Jackson (the first black female PhD from MIT). Her work builds the foundations of the portable fax, touch-tone telephone, solar cells, and fibre optic cables.  American chemist Stephanie Kwolek invented ‘kevlar’ in 1965, a material used for strength members in our fibre optic cables. An inventor and actress Hedy Lamar registered in 1942 the basic ideas of what is today’s Wifi technology.

Fibre Optic technology, Kevlar, Wifi,… What if these women were not given the chance to develop their ideas? Would STL be the company as we know it today?

Let these impactful examples remind us that anybody in our personal and professional environment may have extremely valuable inputs, some may even set the course of a different future. Our dialogue, interaction and ideation should not be limited to the labels we carry, such as function, age, location, gender, experience, etc…

Therefore, open communication is the key: In a truly inclusive environment, anybody will feel comfortable expressing their thoughts, even if they differ from the mainstream or conventional ideas. 

Different perspectives are golden: It goes beyond mere tolerance but extends to a genuine appreciation for the richness that diverse thoughts contribute to problem-solving, creativity, and innovation.

Collaboration as the norm: When people feel included, they are more likely to engage in collaborative efforts and build on each other’s diverse ideas. 

Last week, in our Optotec facility, the Optical Connectivity team organized a Kaizen event on one of the products. Kaizen means ‘change for the better’. An extremely diverse group (from sales and engineers to finance and HR) of STL employees worked as a group on improving the design, the cost and the efficiency of the Optotec CODC product. The open forum, different perspectives, and team collaboration delivered over 40 ‘changes for the better’.

Diversity of thought and inspiring inclusion work hand-in-hand!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Without the women in the optical industry, STL wouldn’t be where it is today!

Latest Blogs