Talented employees are our greatest assets. As a fabless semiconductor company, we are dependent less on capital and fixed assets to create value for our shareholders; instead we are more reliant on our employees to develop intellectual property such as algorithms, integrated circuit designs and software, unique technological solutions that are value-added to our customers. Over 80% of our employees are engineers and our long-term success is dependent on how well we identify, hire, train, retain and motivate our engineers and other key professionals. It is important that we create a workplace culture that fosters the drive for achievement and innovation.
It is critical that we attract and retain top caliber talent in our increasingly diverse workforce through programs related to competitive compensation and benefits, as well as our unique Silicon Motion corporate culture and core values.
Silicon Motion is:
We support core principles of human rights by complying with international standards and by establishing a safe, healthy working environment based on respect and fairness for all employees, regardless of gender, nationality, ethnicity, color, religious belief and sexual orientation. See below for our commitment to human and labor rights.
While we were originally established in the United States, we now operate with corporate offices in Hong Kong, Taiwan, as well as the U.S. Most of our engineering resources are in Asia, specifically in Taiwan, where universities are globally recognized for educating world-class engineers. We believe access to this large pool of engineering talent is one of our competitive advantages. We also maintain design teams in the US and China, and have sales and engineering support teams elsewhere around the Pacific Rim.
1,323 Employees at 2020 Year-End
We believe talent is a scarce resource and encourage women to play a bigger role at Silicon Motion. A significant majority of our employees are engineers, and in recent years we have actively strived to recruit and hire women engineers at a faster rate. Already several of our important engineering and technical marketing teams are led by women engineers. In several of our non-engineering operating functions, women employees account for a majority.
As we grow our business globally, our organization has become more diverse and it is important that we continue to focus more on inclusiveness. In the US, and specifically California, where Silicon Motion was originally established, we actively celebrate our multicultural heritage and a majority of our employees are ethnic minorities.
% Minorities *
Our consistently high employee retention track record is a good reflection of why top industry talent prefers working for Silicon Motion and believes we are a good place to grow professionally and financially. We are proud that for many years our voluntary employee turnover has been low and consistently half of our external benchmark. Also, we believe motivated, long-serving employees are key to our long-term success because they retain our corporate know-how and have valuable insights into business processes, technology and customer relationships and help enable better, faster results.
Voluntary Employee Turnover
We have one of the broadest portfolios of controller intellectual property in the solid state storage controller industry. We have been developing solutions for managing NAND flash and industry-leading storage solutions for over 20 years. Our deep understanding of NAND characteristics from over two decades of experience and accumulated IP continues to provide us with unparalleled expertise in designing both unique, highly optimized configurable ICs plus related firmware controller platforms and complete turnkey controller solutions. During the last ten years, we have shipped over six billion controllers, more than any other company in the world. More NAND flash components, including current and upcoming generations of 3D flash produced by Intel, Kioxia, Micron, Samsung, SK Hynix, Western Digital and YMTC, are supported by Silicon Motion controllers than any other company.
Technology leadership starts with our people. We encourage our employees to be innovative, have long-established incentive programs for encouraging employees to protect inventions with patent filings and for regularly recognizing those who provide outstanding solutions to critical business challenges. We provide our employees with competitive compensation and additionally, most of our employees participate in company profit sharing arrangements and stock grant programs.
We believe in the importance of investing in our employees' success by providing them with resources they need to enhance their skills, to achieve professional goals and for personal enrichment. Personal development resources that we provide include technical and professional training and continuing education courses. Seminars and workshops are held frequently, led by both external trainers and in-house experts. We also host guest speakers who present inspirational material and on other topics of interest to our employees. Some of our programs are included in our internal e-learning libraries of on-demand videos, which allow employees to learn at their own pace.
Silicon Motion is committed to upholding the human rights of our employees around the world, and to treat them with dignity and respect as understood by the international community. Rights that we uphold include prevention of forced labor, minimum working age requirements, working hour limitations, fair wages, humane and non-discrimination of employees and respecting their freedom of association.
We take our responsibility to protect those who work for us either directly or indirectly at our suppliers very seriously. Silicon Motion's Policy Against Human Trafficking and Slavery outlines our commitment to address and mitigate the risk of modern slavery and human trafficking in our operations and throughout our supply chain.
Additionally, all employees have access to a Whistle-Blower Hotline to confidentially and anonymously report fraudulent activities, workplace harassment and other concerns. This system is independent of company management, reports directly to our Audit Committee and internal auditors and protects whistle-blowers from recrimination and other negative consequences.
Silicon Motion is committed to the occupational safety of our employees and actively takes steps to provide a safe and healthy working environment consistent with legal requirements, but also industry best practices. We believe our total recordable injury rate and illness levels are well within best-practice target benchmarks of the fabless semiconductor industry. Low injury and illness levels are also important for ensuring consistency of product and service quality, as well as high employee productivity, retention and morale.
As a fabless semiconductor company, our employees are not directly exposed to manufacturing equipment and hazardous fabrication chemicals. Injuries and illnesses that our employees suffer from are generally related to workplace ergonomics and stress.
Separately, we have in place emergency plans and response procedures relating to fires, earthquakes and typhoons. We have recently implemented plans and procedures for managing contagious infections, such as Covid-19, to ensure the health and safety of our employees and business continuity.
In additional to the occupational safety, we are committed to providing employees with quality health care and ensure they are protected by medical coverage, paid sick leave and life insurance.
|Human capital, retention and diversity|
|# of employees||1,307||1,237||1,323|
|Average employee tenure (years)||6||6||6|
|Average managers and above tenure (years)||9||10||10|
|% women employees--all employees||23%||23%||23%|
|% women employees--managers and above||17%||18%||17%|
|% women employees--R&D engineers||17%||16%||17%|
|% women employees--sales, general and other roles||36%||39%||39%|
|% minorites--US employees (all)||80%||81%||79%|
|% minorites--US employees (managers and above)||59%||69%||57%|
|Human and labor rights|
|# of incidents of abuses||0||0||0|
|Non-compliant 3TG smelters||0%||0%||0%|
|Intellectual property and innovation||# of patents granted||1,576||1,632||1,779|
|# of patents pending||717||1,044||1,257|
|Health and safety|
|Lost time incident rate (LTIR)||0||0||0.08|