This article is part of a broader feature on women working in key engineering and technology roles in the telecom industry. To read other articles in this series, click here.
Aicha S. Evans is corporate vice president and general manager of the Communications and Devices Group at Intel. She is responsible for driving wireless engineering for multicomm products and Intel platforms, including modems, RF, Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, NFC, FM, LTE and WLAN/WWAN, as well as emerging wireless technologies.
“The machines are coming,” and they're going to need to be computing and connecting, she said during an appearance at Mobile World Congress 2016. “5G will be around networks, devices, wireless technologies and the industries that are coming online to get connected. The next generation of standards, of networks will need to solve more complex problems because it’s not just going to be about faster, that will be a component of it, but it will also be about smarter, more efficient” and built-in intelligence so that as devices and things come online, they work and deliver on their promises.
Evans joined Intel in 2006 as a software integration and test manager. She has held a number of management positions responsible for Intel’s wireless efforts, including software engineering and support for customers deploying WiMAX networks in multiple geographies. She also worked in Israel managing Wi-Fi engineering and product lines.
Prior to Intel, Evans spent 10 years in various engineering management positions at Rockwell Semiconductors, Conexant and Skyworks. She earned a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering from The George Washington University in 1996.
How did you get to where you are now? “By knowing my strengths and weaknesses, I know my passions and what drives me,” she said. “I also choose impact over advancement and work to remain courageous.”
What are the biggest obstacles you've faced in your professional career? “Accepting there will be failure and creating a mechanism to not only learn from it, but move beyond it,” she said.
What advice would you give to young women entering the workforce in your industry? “Know yourself and your passion. Stick with it,” she said. “Remember that it is a long journey with many ups and downs. But the opportunity to make impact is always there.”
What are you most excited about in the future? “The extension of computing and communication going beyond person-to-person interaction,” she said. “As in the machines are coming and what that will make possible for future generations gives me goosebumps. Industries, people, areas in the world that don’t benefit from the digital capabilities, or have access to each other or to the Internet, will go through a massive transformation similar to the industrial revolution or the birth of the computer and the Internet.”