Interview with Dr. Bianca Hydutsky, 2022 Panel Discussion Moderator
IWCS recently had the pleasure of sitting with Dr. Bianca Hydutsky, a successful materials scientist and active supporter of IWCS and the Cable & Connectivity Industry Forum to ask a few questions about her career. This year’s IWCS Cable & Connectivity Industry Forum, taking place October 10–13, 2022 in Providence Rhode Island, USA, will feature several new event components that recognize the plethora of contributions that women such as Dr. Hydutsky, have made to advance our industries. IWCS is excited to announce that Dr. Hydutsky will be the Chairperson for a new Technical Symposium Session, “Women in Cable & Connectivity” that features technical papers authored by female colleagues from around the world. Following the technical paper presentations, Dr. Hydutsky will moderate a panel discussion that features influential female members of our industry. The panelists will speak about their career accomplishments, resources that have aided their success, and discuss what it is like to work in male-dominated industries. It will include a question-and-answer period that allows the audience to engage with the panelists.
Dr. Bianca Hydutsky received her Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Millersville University and Doctorate in Chemistry from Penn State University. Her career began at DuPont in 2008 and when The Chemours Company was formed as a spinoff of DuPont in 2015, she elected to go with the Chemours team. After several impressive promotions, Dr. Hydutsky is presently the Global Technology Manager for The Chemours Company. Read on to learn more about Dr. Hydutsky.
What does a typical day-in-the-life of a Global Technology Manager and mother of two look like?
My husband, Darren, and I are proud parents of two teenagers, Ella (16) and Warren (13). Darren is also a scientist at The Chemours Company so it is important to us that our company provides flexibility when we need it so we can balance our travel schedules.
I manage the product lines for Polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE aka Teflon®) and Melt Fluoropolymers, both of which are used in a variety of industries. One of the applications for these materials is wire insulation. My work requires a lot of meetings and aside from those meetings, I like to be with my team in the lab as often as I can be. My team is spread out across multiple locations. Some team members are focused on Research and Development and others are on Customer Technical Services and Protyping. As a group, we are responsible for not only developing and testing materials, but also helping customers choose the right products and optimizing the application.
Have your career goals changed since you first joined the industry?
Yes they definitely have changed. If someone told me 15 years ago that I would be a Technology Manager of a global division, I never would have believed them. Chemours leadership does a great job with mentorship, is transparent, and is very good at finding developmental opportunities to help team members grow into leadership roles. My mentors have encouraged me to step outside of my comfort zone and accept new opportunities for growth and development. I can attribute much of my career success to having great mentors and accepting new challenges along the way.
Have you encountered adversity working in a male-dominated industry? If so, what have you done to overcome and persevere?
Anything within STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) is male-dominated. Being a female minority is very prevalent in the production facilities. In fact, there were only a few females in the entire Dupont facility in Chambers Works when I first started. We were required to wear Nomex® flame-resistant protective suits and I can tell you that they make these for barrel-chested men, not a woman who is pregnant.
I have found that the more closely I work with a team, the more credibility I receive. When you have people who believe in you and are backing you, it makes it easier to come to the table every day and you know you have a voice, even if you are the only woman there. DuPont and Chemours have had strong female leaders for many years, which has been helpful to have access to in my every day work life. The team has been great to work with.
We have a women’s network at Chemours and I am involved in several chapters, including Wilmington and here at the Chemours Discovery Hub. We support one another and host speakers and networking events. Combined with other female-focused initiatives, it helps to motivate myself and my female colleagues.
What are you looking forward to most for the IWCS Cable & Connectivity Industry Forum in October?
I am looking forward to the distinguished women’s technical session. I think it’s exciting to bring together some really strong women who have built a variety of career paths. I am proud to accept the request from IWCS to be the chairperson for this session and I hope it will be motivational for other women who are looking to start their career or who are already in their career.
IWCS’s plan to celebrate women of the industry at this year’s Forum is very exciting. As a gender minority, I find it especially helpful to hear about how other women have gotten to where they are today. It is not always clear how your career will evolve because it is not always a straight line. I think it’s great that IWCS is taking the initiative to celebrate the underrepresented women throughout the cable, materials, and related STEM fields.
Do you feel that your participation in industry events has helped to advance your career?
I think it is very helpful. Representing Chemours at IWCS events allows my company to stay engaged in current and future applications of cable and connectivity. Many of our products go into plenum cables and 5G infrastructure, so it helps us to stay closely engaged with that industry.
Members of my team also sit on safety and performance committees throughout the industry. We develop materials used in semiconductors and xEV and lithium ion batteries. So, electrical groups such as IEEE and other codes and standards bodies have also been helpful.
Click here to learn more about the Women in Cable & Connectivity Panel Discussion and IWCS’s commitment to celebrating the women of our industry.
Are you interested in attending the 2022 Cable & Connectivity Industry Forum? Click here to learn more and register to attend.