We’re proud to introduce Tech Equity@Intel, a resource illustrative of the company’s commitment to helping build a more equitable and brighter future for all stakeholders – customers, employees, communities, suppliers, and shareholders.
Below, Jeff Rittener, Chief Government Affairs Officer and General Manager of the Governments, Markets and Trade Group, and Rhonda Foxx, Head of Social Equity Policy & Engagement, discuss what equity means at Intel, how the incoming administration and Congress should address equity through policymaking, and how Intel plans to lead the way on equity.
What is Tech Equity@Intel?
Rhonda Foxx (RF): Tech Equity@Intel is a public policy platform that examines social issues and explores how Intel’s technologies, philanthropies, people, and public policies work together to drive systemic change within our communities. We know that our commitments to human rights and full inclusion require us to do our part to address public policies that work toward these goals.
What makes this policy platform so unique is that it’s driven by our passion, expertise, and lived experiences. Tech Equity is part of our continued efforts to build a more equitable and brighter future for every person on earth.
How does Tech Equity@Intel support Intel’s 2030 Corporate Responsibility goals?
Jeff Rittener (JR): This year, Intel announced a bold 2030 corporate strategy called Responsible, Inclusive, Sustainable, and Enabling (RISE). We are fearless in our commitment to enable our technology and people to build a more responsible, inclusive, and sustainable world. These values are at our core and have been an essential part of our company’s evolution, aligning with our corporate mission: to produce world-changing technologies that enrich the lives of every person on earth. Tech Equity is our effort to embed these values into the public policies we are advocating for.
Additionally, this platform is critical to forging new partnerships with governments, schools, and other industry leaders. It is only through partnerships and collective action that we will put forth a public policy framework that supports our RISE 2030 goals and prepares us for the global challenges of the future.
How will Tech Equity@Intel translate into policy priorities for Intel?
JR: Intel leaders are focused on helping reset our world to ensure an equitable COVID-19 recovery and build a more just future for all. The global pandemic has made clear that as a society, we are further behind on social equity than we thought. This realization requires a new era of shared responsibility and demands that social equity and racial justice be public policy priorities.
How do you see social equity transforming 2021 congressional policy initiatives?
RF: Social equity will be a global public policy priority in 2021 and beyond. When approaching any public policy issue – from the economic recovery to a potential vaccine to infrastructure – Intel will apply an equity lens to the conversation. As a society, we cannot leave social inequity and racial justice unaddressed. In the United States, we have lost an expected 16 trillion from our GDP over the last two decades because of inequality, and projections suggest that we will lose an additional 8 trillion by 2050. Additionally, over 50% of the U.S. workforce will be people of color by 2050. Social equity is the moral and economic imperative of our time. An all-hands-on-deck approach is needed to address inequity and requires a new level of bipartisanship and public and private partnership.
How do you expect the new administration to support these policies?
RF: The Biden/Harris transition team has been unequivocal in espousing their top priorities: economic recovery, COVID-19, racial equity, and climate change. All of these issues are at the heart of Intel’s Tech Equity platform. We look forward to working with the new administration, Congress, and governments worldwide on these critical public policy priorities.
Will a divided Congress make policy implementation more difficult?
JR: We are optimistic that we will see broad bipartisan action in the new Congress. Intel stands ready to work with governments around the globe to advance public policies that address the critical social issues of our time.
How do you see data playing a role in the future of social equity?
RF: When used responsibly and ethically, data can transform society positively and productively. This is why ensuring good use of data and our technologies is a top priority for Intel and should be for key stakeholders around the country and world.
How do you see Tech Equity@Intel transforming the culture of Intel?
JR: Our CEO Bob Swan has been very vocal about this being a new era of shared responsibility. We will not tolerate racism or inequity of any kind at Intel or within our communities. Tech Equity is part of his bold cultural transformation. As our company continues to evolve, so will our public policies.
What learnings from your time working on Capitol Hill and running for office are you bringing to your role at Intel?
RF: I had the honor and privilege of working for six different women in federal politics and policy. From North Carolina to Oregon, I saw firsthand that no matter the zip-code, inequity, and injustice exist. This fundamental problem propelled me to run for Congress.
When my campaign ended, I wasn’t sure what to do next. But I remembered a critical lesson from my time as a chief of staff on Capitol Hill, where I worked tirelessly to drive a bipartisan caucus that convened quarterly with industry leaders to discuss partnerships with Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). That experience demonstrated the power and effectiveness of public and private partnerships, which drove me to Intel and my new role.
Intel has a unique opportunity to expand on the conversation around equity to tackle the broad range of social issues, from equitable justice, economic equity, health equity, education equity, and digital equity, to name a few. Industry and government have a responsibility to pioneer a public policy framework that ensures an equitable COVID-19 recovery, and that moves us into the fourth industrial revolution without leaving anyone behind.
What are the biggest challenges Intel is working to solve around social equity?
JR: Our social equity priorities are robust, and we are equally committed to all of them. We also know that the principal focus for 2021 must be on supporting communities of color, women, and the small and medium-sized businesses that make our supply chain more resilient. As a company, we must ensure people, communities, and enterprises have the resources they need to survive and thrive during these turbulent times.
We’re also focusing on digital equity, ensuring broadband access and digital connectivity for all, especially those located in rural areas and communities of color. We are committed to collaborating on policies that address the social determinants that impact our employees and communities’ health outcomes, including equal access to education, employment, healthcare, and housing.