July 22 marked the beginning of an important milestone for Intel Malaysia as we embarked upon our Intel Diverse Abilities Network (IDAN) journey. The vision of IDAN is to make the world a better place for people with diverse abilities by doing three things: influencing innovation, fostering an inclusive environment, and empowering individuals to realize their full career potential. In its early days, IDAN Malaysia is focused on the “three A’s”: Awareness – to promote diverse ability knowledge and functionalities; Acceptance – to accept employment of diverse ability employees and build a conducive environment; and Appreciation – to embrace and recognize diverse ability employees in the Intel workforce.
In an effort to boost IDAN awareness amongst our employee population, we officially launched IDAN Malaysia with an IDAN Awareness Day themed “Be inclusive, be complete.” The event featured sharing sessions from Starbucks Malaysia, which recently launched a first-of-its-kind Signing Store initiative dedicated to employing deaf partners, and Lemmelearn, an organisation that strives for inclusion through their vocational training programs which are specifically designed to integrate people with special needs into the community.
A total of 157 Intel employees and 36 external guests attended the launch, which also featured seven exhibition booths from IDAN Malaysia, Sunway Putra Mall (Malaysia’s first autism friendly shopping mall), Lemmelearn, St. Nicholas Home (a multi-service institution serving the visually disabled throughout Malaysia), HR Talent Acquisition, CS Infrastructure Accessibility, and the Diverse Ability Experience.
Alfred Teoh, the chairman of IDAN Malaysia emphasized the importance of the IDAN network as an employee resource group which offers support for people with diverse abilities and their advocates. Alfred shared that “as a diverse abled employee, it’s an honour to be given this opportunity to lead the very first IDAN Malaysia local chapter. With the support available, Intel Malaysia will definitely be a better place to work, with a more diversified and inclusive environment for people like us to be able to contribute to Intel.”
Diversity is no longer just about gender, generation, ethnicity or even skin color. It’s about differing perspectives and ideas, differing skills and experiences, and differing abilities. Robin Martin, managing director of Intel Malaysia underlined that it is inclusion which brings out the benefit of a diverse workforce. Inclusion goes beyond just having a voice to join a conversation and being represented, it’s about belonging and feeling the sense of being supported, respected and accepted in our workplace.
He said “creating this environment is a multi-step journey that begins with us, and with all of you here—inclusion begins with all of us.”
Robin encouraged all diverse-abled employees to join the IDAN support group, adding “you might just impact someone’s life with your story and words of encouragement without even knowing it.”
At Intel Malaysia, we are committed to a culture of accessibility. With the beginning of IDAN Malaysia, we encourage all Intel employees to be advocates and change agents driving our culture of inclusion.