By Rhonda Foxx, Head of Social Equity Policy & Engagement at Intel
This week, Intel and Axios convened a critical conversation on the power of data and technology to drive social change. The grave inequities brought to light by the global Covid-19 pandemic and the killings of George Floyd and many others have made clear that racial and social inequality remains one of our most urgent and pressing social challenges. As one of world’s leading technology companies, we accept our shared responsibility to use data, technology and public policy to address social and racial inequity.
To further amplify the ability of data-driven change, on day-one of his Presidency, President Biden signed bold executive actions, including the creation of an equitable data working group as part of his whole-of-government initiative to advance racial equity. Additionally, President Biden reinstated diversity and sensitivity training, extended historic workforce protections to LGBTQ+ populations, protected AAPI and tribal communities, and implemented new efforts to address inequities within the criminal justice system. The economic and deadly realities of persistent inequity have sparked a new era of public-private partnership, with leaders across sectors working together to promote data-driven justice.
During the Axios conversation, Sandra Rivera, Intel’s Executive Vice President and Chief People Officer illustrated how Intel is advancing equity through industry collaboration and data-driven solutions. Intel has made a commitment to harness the power of data to advance social equity in a multitude of ways. By implementing a Global Inclusion Index, we are holding ourselves and the industry accountable on progress in areas like achieving greater levels of women and minorities in senior and technical positions, accessible technology, and pay equity. We also release our Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) data in our annual Diversity and Inclusion Report to enable transparent data sharing on our progress toward our diversity and inclusion goals. By establishing inclusive hiring practices and tying bonuses to company goals around diversity and inclusion, we are using data to drive change and encourage the rest of the industry to uphold the same standards.
Megan J. Smith, Founder & CEO of Shift7 and former U.S. Chief Technology Officer, spoke to the importance of how data can drive key stakeholders to make better decisions, such as mobilizing existing information like Census data to work towards creating a more free and fair society. Organizations can work together and bundle skillsets to help solve the biggest discrimination problems currently facing industry and society.
Representative Yvette Clarke (D-NY) joined the conversation by highlighting the critical need to address inequity and sharing her view that this must include accountability standards around the use of data. Rep. Clarke outlined how she is working with other policymakers to achieve this objective.
Economic and educational equity emerged as common goals. Late last year, Intel announced a set of equity public policy principles that centered on these same themes. Our principles are data-driven and informed by conversations with our employees and communities and outline how we will work with governments and organizations globally to address social inequity. Sandra further demonstrated Intel’s commitments to education equity by highlighting Intel’s AI skills training focused at Community Colleges, as they attract a diverse array of students with a range of backgrounds and expertise.
It was clear from the conversation that solving social challenges, especially racial and social equity, demands a collective approach. As a purpose driven company, we stand ready to work with our industry colleagues and governments globally to honor our mission to solve social challenges by producing world-changing technologies that enrich the lives of every person on earth.