Being an exemplary entrepreneur is about going beyond the normal thought process and leading by example. To do this, one has to tap all available talents, skills, abilities and resources. Inspiring business leaders stimulate the minds and hearts of co-workers, cultivate corporate intelligence and encourage optimal performance while directing the overall growth of the business. Judy Davies is one such inspiring business woman, contributing through the role of Vice President of Global Marketing Communications at Advantest. During her more than 20 years in the semiconductor industry, she has been responsible for various aspects of marketing communications, from PR, IR, M&A and customer and employee communications to product launches, brand management, trade shows and digital marketing. Active with several non-profit organizations, Judy serves on the Boards of Raphael House of San Francisco as well as the San Francisco SPCA.
Broad Scope of Responsibilities
Judy’s educational background is in communications. Her early career experience includes working in advertising on the agency side and communications work within technology companies. In 2006, she joined semiconductor test equipment supplier Verigy. Then in 2011, Verigy was acquired by Advantest, the world’s largest provider of IC test and measurement systems. Over the past eight years at Advantest, she has striven to push boundaries by applying what she has learned in other areas while also instilling an entrepreneurial style in Advantest’s marketing, branding and communications activities. To get visibility for Advantest in the technology-driven, rapidly changing semiconductor industry, Judy’s Communications Group has leveraged marketing communications approaches that are well beyond the scope of traditional corporate and product marketing. While her responsibilities include a broad range of both internal and external communications, she also manages impactful programs ranging from the recent refining of Advantest’s Core Values to the company’s annual VOICE Developer Conference, which is attended by more than 500 customers and partners around the world.
Leveraging Skills and Experience
Advantest’s communications are inherently diverse because its audiences are so varied. They include not only its semiconductor manufacturing customers around the globe, but also outsourced assembly and testing companies (OSATs), technology partners, market researchers, financial analysts, shareholders and company employees at its facilities throughout Asia, Europe and the U.S. Advantest’s communications are designed to meet targeted marketing objectives, but also must convey the company’s technical acumen and project its integrity to people across different cultures. To accomplish this, Judy has implemented an entrepreneurial structure in the Communications Group that she leads. This approach allows her to leverage the skills and experience of both in-house and independent marketing communications professionals, some of whom are based in other time zones.
To be successful, an entrepreneur needs to be resourceful and open to new ideas, consider uncommon options and bring a positive attitude to work each day. Exploring the untried and unknown is required. Judy firmly believes that, no matter how daunting the challenge, a solution is out there to be discovered. She believes that nothing is impossible with resolute efforts.
Navigating Tough Times
In work, Judy has dedicated herself to staying focused on the objectives at hand and the possibilities that lay ahead. She has learned how to navigate turbulent times – which are a fact of life in the always-shifting semiconductor industry – by working closely with brilliant and innovative business leaders. Judy has been given opportunities to succeed and grow professionally, but she also knows how to create her own possibilities and realize what she envisions.
Delivering the Best Results
Advantest’s communications efforts draw from and affect many different groups within Advantest – from product development to customer service to strategic partnerships – with the common goal of conveying the company’s value to customers and its overall market leadership. As head of global marketing communications, Judy frequently coaxes content owners in charge of Advantest’s products, services and strategic vision to provide details that otherwise might be overlooked. In this way, everyone at Advantest works together to tell the most interesting stories, showcase the advantages that the company offers to its various audiences and ultimately deliver the best results.
In addition, Judy’s Communications Group is continuously advising and training company spokespersons on topics such as talking with the media, product positioning and overarching corporate messages.
Being Committed to Goals
Being a female in the male-dominated semiconductor industry presents both challenges and opportunities. Judy feels the lack of female role models and the underrepresentation of women in executive leadership positions speaks to the need for inclusion and diversity.
Within her job, Judy remains focused on her commitment to being true to herself. She embraces the qualities of optimism and confidence, tenacity and grit, passion and purpose, and most importantly authenticity. The abilities to be a good storyteller, be open to change and – a characteristic that she admittedly has struggled with – be comfortable with ambiguity are important as well. These qualities have helped her maximize her capacity for leadership and be more impactful for her company, community and family.
These traits also have helped her navigate through the world each day – directing how she approaches challenges as well as opportunities, and reminding her to make conscious efforts to shape not only what she does, but who she is as a leader.
Judy observes that society – both publicly and in the corporate world – is growing more accepting and encouraging of women in leadership positions. She has faced hurdles in her day-to-day work environment, but she focuses on learning from those around her and actively mentoring within Advantest and beyond. She enjoys working with like-minded people who are committed to mutual goals and to achieving positive results.
Throughout her working life, Judy has learned much about the keys to successful collaboration, and she draws upon that knowledge and experience in dedicating herself to meeting whatever objective is at hand.
Ambitious and Passionate
Judy has the same ambition for advancement and passion for her job as when she first began working in the global semiconductor industry. She wants to continue to help drive Advantest forward and positively impact the work of other groups within the company as well as foster growth in society overall.
Being a Role Model
As vice president of global marketing communications, Judy has the opportunity to serve as a role model and guide for the next generation. She strives to help others grow and move up in their careers, especially women who are just now entering management roles. She tells them to dedicate themselves to understanding their companies and industries from all angles, to develop their technical and business acumen, to work hard to exceed expectations, to welcome feedback and do something with it, and to volunteer for additional responsibilities.
As for Judy’s personal goals, she wants to remain active on the Boards of Raphael House – the largest privately funded homeless shelter for families in Northern California – and the San Francisco SPCA – a privately-funded and nationally recognized leader in animal welfare. Both of these charitable causes are dear to her. There are two quotes, both from Audrey Hepburn, that best describe Judy’s philosophy in life. The first is “As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands: One for helping yourself, the other for helping others.” Charitable work keeps Judy grounded, and she believes that there truly isn’t a better feeling than doing well while you are doing good. The second quote is “For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.” The negativity that a person projects will very likely come back to them in an even bigger dose so it’s important to see good and beauty in everything.
Judy offers three precious tips to aspiring entrepreneurs: “Never complain. Never over-explain. Never let them see you sweat.”