Authored by Emily Arcuri, Client Computing Group Communications:
We sat down with the co-chairs of the CCG Women’s Leadership Council: Amy Occhialino (she/her/hers) and Nirja Sinha (she/her/hers) to hear their story, learn what #EmbraceEquity means to them – and what they look for in an ally. Amy and Nirja co-lead CCG’s Senior Women’s Leadership Council.
Amy is director of open-source software engineering in CPE-PSE. Amy leads the team developing the Zephyr real-time operating system (RTOS), which optimizes client firmware functionality. Outside of work Amy is a mom to twelve-year-old twins – and soccer stars – Dante and Mario. She’s deeply involved as a parent leader within the Portland Hispanic public-school community.
Amy enjoys weightlifting and reading, she’s currently reading, Children of Memory by Adrian Tchaikovsky.
From left: Mario Occhialino, Amy’s partner Ted Occhialino, Amy, and Dante Occhialino.
Nirja is a director in CPE’s System Integration and Validation (SIV) team leading the Platform Integration and Validation teams for connectivity, security/vPro and virtualization domains. Her team drives proof of concepts on new technologies and validation methodologies to provide the best quality experiences to our customers on Client platforms. Outside of work, Nirja is a mom to her 10-year-old daughter Myra. Nirja also flexes her artistic creativity through her passion for creating Mandala art – view a few of her Mandala art pieces .
From left: Nirja’s daughter Myra and Nirja
We sat down with Amy and Nirja to ask them our three top of mind questions as we reflect what it means to embrace equity.
What does “Embrace Equity” mean to you?
Amy: “The strategic goal of equity is to permanently change systemic cultural barriers that block people’s ability to thrive. #EmbracingEquity means that I am committed to long-term sustainable solutions that address world-wide systemically imbalanced social systems.”
Nirja: “Equity doesn’t mean equality. Everyone is different and so are their needs. Accepting others, as they are, and supporting, providing, and creating opportunities accordingly is what #EmbracingEquity means to me. It’s not ‘good to have’ it’s a ‘must have.’”
What do you look for in an ally? What does allyship mean to you?
Amy: “My favorite quote on allyship is from the Harvard Business Review, November 2022, ‘View allyship as a strategic mechanism used by individuals to become collaborators, accomplices, and co-conspirators who fight injustice and promote equity in the workplace through supportive personal relationships and public acts of sponsorship and advocacy.’ My favorite ally relationships are the ones that start with building the personal relationship; so much of what we do at Intel is transactional, so the time spent on relational work is very grounding. Then, after the relationship is established, the public acts of advocacy really ring true, and are not seen as performative.”
Nirja: “From my perspective, an ally must be able to understand and accept the gaps we have today that result in inequity. An ally must be great advocate, a strong supporter, collaborator and they must help create impartial opportunities. Allyship is going to play a very critical role in creating stable and equitable system for our future generations.”
We’re in a particularly challenging environment. What part(s) of Intel’s strategy inspire you about our future?
Amy: “I am firmly behind Pat’s IDM2.0 vision. I am a chemical engineer by education and spent 20 years of my Intel career in silicon design and manufacturing. This is the heart of what makes Intel remarkable, and we will rise to the leadership pinnacle once again.”
Nirja: “I strongly believe in our product leadership strategy. We have the best products on our roadmap and our customers are counting on us. These are challenging times and to come out as a winner, we must continue to execute to our commitments with smart innovative methods to deliver better experiences. And we are on the right path.”
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