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African American Employees come together to celebrate Black History Month and their Communities

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Black History Month is a time to reflect upon the important contributions that African Americans have made to the world as a whole, and to all of our lives here at Intel. Employees from around the country gathered for a thoughtful discussion about their identities as employees and as individuals within greater communities— and the intersection between the two which Intel helps foster through programs such as the Network of Intel African American Employees (NIA). Here are some of the things they had to say:

On Employee Resource Groups and Work Culture at Intel

Ayanna Brandon - Solutions engineer, Internet of Things Group: “The inclusivity at Intel is something very special and important. You have access to creative individual minds both at work and away from it. Additionally the various community programs such as NIA, the Bible Christian Network, and the Armed Veteran’s network really help you connect with the broader community outside of work so you can give back.”

Romadd Carter - IT EDiscovery Information Specialist, Information Security Group: “I love working with such a diverse team of people. I work with people who aren’t just African American and White Americans, but Puerto Rican, Laosian, Indian, and more. When you see that on a daily basis and get all those different points of view, it makes work more fun. We all can come together and talk with passion about our projects because we all have a love of what we do in common.”

Karenga Ross - Project/Program Manager Tech, Data Center Group: “It’s not just that the groups let you connect and network with others with similar backgrounds, they also provide you with a platform for giving back. I’ve started co-hosting monthly meetings to pass on the knowledge that we received when first starting here, helping to make other new employees and residents in our area feel just as welcome and supported as we did.”

Personal benefits of being part of a Community at Intel

Danielle Goodman – Pricing Specialist, Internet of Things Group: “Getting access to senior leadership at community events has been a huge advantage. I get to attend conferences or team lunches or other hosted events as a part of NIA or WIN (Women at Intel Network) and get a chance to talk to senior leaders, giving myself and others the visibility and networking opportunities to ask for mentoring or discuss development opportunities. That kind of access is pretty rare to come by in the professional world.”

Ayanna: “I’d add that you have a real voice at those events. Senior leaders actually talk to you at these events and you feel like you can actually influence your work environment. That’s not something I’ve ever had in another professional environment before.”

Karenga: “Intel Parent Network was huge for me. I relocated for this position, and while work might have been taken care of, this community was a big deal for figuring out what I could do with my family on the weekend and where my husband could find opportunities in the area. Also meeting with WIN, NIA and ROAR has given a lot of networking opportunity to connect with other people to see where I am and how to get where I wanted to be. I’ve never had a company help with personal development that much.”

On Personal and Professional Growth in the Community

Kevin Lawrence - Software Engineer, Software Solutions Group: “My professional and personal skills are closely related. Through NIA and Community service events I’ve gained, and improved my existing, leadership skills. I’ve also become more self-aware. Being able to discuss a world of topics with people that have similar passions and varying backgrounds helps you to reflect on yourself and become more aware of bias and how to build yourself.”

Ayanna: “I didn’t realize how much I would grow personally when I got here. The intent of giving back is ingrained into the culture. And finding that I could enhance my own skills while giving back to my community was a huge thing for me.”

Finally, what do you feel was the most influential volunteer opportunity you’ve been given here?

Karenga: “The Black Parent Initiative has been my favorite volunteer opportunity, because it lets me interact with the community of my new city.”

Romadd: “Definitely the Intel Latino Network (ILN) march for MLK Day. It showed that Intel has a presence in my community outside Intel itself. People pay attention to who is actually involved these kinds of marches. It speaks to the character of the company that it supports and hires people who are interested in being involved in community action. People seeing us out there, getting involved, and it reflects wonderfully on us and on the company.”

Ayanna: “I’d say for me it was Future Stars, which is a non-profit focused on bringing more STEM workers to South Phoenix. Being a part of that has showed me how big of an impact Intel has had in this community.”

Kevin: “Engineers for Tomorrow (E4T), an outside non-profit group founded and led by a former Intel employee has been the most influential opportunity for me. It was created to bring more kids into STEM, which is a strong passion of mine. I’ve been a big part of that effort and the organization has become a big part of me. I wouldn’t have found out about E4T if I hadn’t been part of NIA.”

Thank you to everyone who shared their insights on work and community. Intel is dedicated to creating and sustaining a work culture that celebrates everyone for their true, authentic selves, and we relish the wide-array of perspectives our employees bring to the table every day.


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