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As soon as you start speaking with Beatriz Seoane, you see she’s a dynamic and enthusiastic woman who loves what she does and who she works for. Encouraged from a young age to pursue her love of science, she has a dual role as Group Lead and Function Owner at ASML.

Her path to becoming a material scientist is the hope for all young girls. She was able to connect with powerful mentors and sponsors along the way. Not only that, but she also listened to her gut and pursued a role that helped her do the same thing for others, bridging the worlds of science and people.

Born in Gran Canaria (Canary Island) and growing up in Zaragoza, Spain, Beatriz Seoane was drawn to science from a young age. Her father’s family was embedded in the sciences; one of her uncles is a full professor teaching chemistry. It seems science is in her genes.

“I was the kid playing with a microscope. It was always science. I just loved it. I could spend hours doing math,” she says.

The power of good role models

As luck would have it, pursuing a career in science was not an uphill battle for her and she had plenty of role models along the way.

Although very different from her parents, who are both judges, they encouraged her interest in science. Around the age of 13, a math teacher saw her potential and put her forward for the Math Olympiad.

This pushed her onto the path to study Chemical Engineering in Spain, and she became a Material Scientist during her PhD studies in the Netherlands.

She’s felt the full support of professors in the academic world and bosses now that she’s moved into a corporate environment. During her postdoctoral studies at TU Delft, she worked under a talented and inspiring professor. When she moved to ASML, she found many mentors, including male sponsors, who believed in her strong capability in her field.

She described these types of mentors as people “who believe you can become what you want, who trust you when you do not trust yourself yet. They put you forward for opportunities and sponsor you.”

Good sponsors, who are also key in Beatriz’s career, are the “people who say your name in the room when you're not there,” Seoane went on to say.

Seeking out an inspiring company culture

While Seoane was working under her mentor at TU Delft, she wasn’t ready to move on into industry for a while, but she knew that would eventually be her next move.

She has a refreshing and empowering view of the interview process and says that “interviews are always two-way.”

So, when Seoane was ready to move into the corporate world, she started talking to people in her network. She asked about their employers and did her own research. She didn’t want to just find a job; she wanted to find a company that inspired her.

“I had a close friend at ASML who was very capable and very inspiring. She loved working at ASML. That kind of got into my system when I saw someone so enthusiastic about it. It’s contagious,” Seoane explains.

“I got invited for an interview with ASML,” she continues. “It was a one-hour conversation with two group leads. The conversation was so good. I was like, ‘I want to work here. This is the environment I want to work in.’”

ASML is the leader in the photolithography industry, powering the world's chipmakers with nanometer precision. Its extreme ultraviolet (EUV) machine has been in development for years and is the future of the industry.

Working in this high-tech environment may not be for everyone, but Seoane thrives.

“Of course, there is pressure, but it's also so much fun. I joined ASML and one of my first weeks in the company, I was at the coffee machine. They were telling me the details of the [EUV] technology and my mind was blown. My colleague told me, ‘We are at the edge of what's physically possible.’ So, there is pressure, yes. But the feeling of being at the forefront of technology is so rewarding,” Seoane says.

Bridging science and people

Seoane has now been at ASML for five years. She started as a research scientist and has moved up to Group Lead and Function Owner of EUV Image Quality.

In her LinkedIn profile, she describes herself as a “material scientist with a knack for leadership.”

Having not only an interest but a skill in working in science and with people is not always common. However, Seoane has always liked humanities as well as science. She bridges both worlds and this helps in her leadership role.

“I like diving into how people work. Facilitating leadership training is about going deep with people and helping them grow. For me, both are important,” she says.

She never set out to be a group leader. She came to ASML for the technology, like most people do, but she found that she missed working closer to people and helping them develop. She’s now a much sought-after group leader.

She attributes this success not only to having the support of managers but also the trust of the people you work alongside.

“It’s bottom up and top down. It comes both ways. People next to you must see it and trust you,” she explains.

Where are the women in tech?

Encouraging women in technology has also been a big theme in Spain, but because it was already an interest of hers, she wasn’t always aware of this campaign.

“I don't know if I always knew it was a thing because it was always just in my nature. I never really stopped and said, ‘Oh, yeah, I'm a woman in tech … is this normal?’ I just loved math and physics,” she recalls.

But in her studies, she began to see some signs that not all was what it should be. The chemistry studies had many females, but she saw that women were the minority in engineering studies. In the end, Beatriz is a chemical engineer and an engineer as well, ticking both boxes.

“The last year of my degree, I studied in Munich, Germany. I remember that I was shocked. There were much fewer women in the university. There were even fewer women than in Spain,” Seoane says. “It blew my mind. In Spain, we look up to northern Europe and the technology developed here. I mean, I was shocked and disappointed, I must say.”

ASML women

ASML International Women's Day 2023. Pictured from left to right: Claudia Castano Puertolas, Katja Fenton, Annelieze Potgieter, Erato Kavouki, Sarah Noonan, Angela Madeira, Beatriz Seoane, Renee Malone and Beatriz Ramos.

Encouraging women at ASML

ASML has a large number of employee-led networks and clubs to engage colleagues and provide a supportive environment. From groups like the Green Network and Proud, ASML has an internal group for everyone.

Seoane found her place in Women at ASML, and she is now a board member of this internal group. She loves the impact and change this group can make.

“It’s about community. It's about developing together. It's about women helping women. Some of our struggles are the same and you can bond over those and help each other. The impact you can have on people is so much bigger. That's what I love about it,” she says while talking about the group.

With big events, like International Women's Day and Diversity Month, workshops on subjects from imposter syndrome to micro aggressions and outreach initiatives, Seoane believes the Women at ASML group is making a big difference for many people working at ASML.

Do what you love

When asked what advice she would give to someone just entering university, Seoane has a quick answer.

“For me, it is to do what you love. I know, it sounds simpler than what it actually is sometimes, but trust it,” she says.

“Don't let yourself be limited by expectations on what you're supposed to be or what you're supposed to do.”