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By Dr. Randhir Thakur
Randhir Thakur is Intel senior vice president, president of Intel Foundry Services, and Intel’s chief supply chain officer.


The urgency of our work toward social equity is always palpable in my conversations with colleagues inside and outside of Intel who share our commitments. We know that unless gains in social equity and social justice are measurable and sustained, we can’t consider them real progress. For decades, Intel has been investing in the economic and social health of our communities worldwide, but the world keeps giving us undeniable and compelling reasons why much more needs to be done to fight systemic inequities.

Just as integration and scale are central to Intel’s technologies, we recognize that our size and influence puts us in a position to take real action to advance social justice and help build a more equitable world. That mindset fuels our current actions and new plans across all of our work, from our employees and communities to society at large.

Expanding from the inside out
Since last May, we have further expanded and integrated our social equity efforts, and as a champion for diversity and inclusion on Intel’s executive leadership team, I am proud of our teams’ momentum. These efforts also strengthen our Intel culture as we reestablish our position as the world’s technology leader and continue our quest to become the most inclusive and responsible company on the planet.

Our commitment to help build a more equitable world includes investments of money and time both inside and outside the company. For example, we are offering the Talent Keepers Leadership Program to foster career and leadership development for some Black and African American employees in the United States and Costa Rica in career development and progression discussions and initiatives. We’re also participating in the McKinsey Leadership and Manager Accelerator initiative, which offers some Black employees various learning and development modules and networking opportunities to grow as leaders. Both efforts are part of our systematic work to increase Black representation at Intel.

In addition, we’ve invested in the well-being of Black employees by piloting (and now expanding) our partnership with Modern Health, a well-being tool that focuses on destigmatizing mental health care and connects us to a network of counselors and coaches of color.

Expanding external investments and partnerships
We believe society will also benefit, directly or indirectly, from our investments outside the company, which include:

  • Donating $5 million over the next five years to North Carolina Central University (NCCU), a historically Black college and university (HBCU), to create a new tech law and policy center.

  • Partnering with organizations who receive our anti-racism and social equity grants, now totaling more than $2.2 million.

  • Pursuing our 2030 goal of $2 billion in annual spending with diverse suppliers by setting additional milestone targets to spend $500 million with women-owned suppliers outside the U.S. by 2025 and $800 million annually with minority-owned suppliers globally by 2023, including $250 million with U.S. Black-owned suppliers.

  • Working with other organizations on actions and targeted investments at critical intervention points in colleges and middle schools as part of the Million Girls Moonshot.

These efforts are taking place against a backdrop of ongoing social equity initiatives through our people, philanthropy, policies, and products. They include tying our 2021 employee bonus to inclusive workplace goals; systematic steps (like those outlined above) to increase our U.S. representation of African American employees in leadership roles by 30 percent by the end of 2023; an “Intel rule” requiring any outside law firms we retain or use in the U.S. are at or above average on diversity; and our RISE Technology Initiative to design products and solutions that drive inclusion and social equity.

Pursuing social equity in all forms
Our actions live at the intersection of technology and public policy, where we’re pursing social equity in all its forms as part of our global social equity policy principles. By applying our strengths as a data-centric company we are pushing for greater data collection and analysis to power data-driven change. Lasting healing happens one person at a time, and our Legal and Policy team is supporting a wide range of pro-bono opportunities providing free or low-cost legal services in underserved communities. We’re forming a new series of pro-bono legal clinics at Intel sites, with a pilot program in Oregon as we explore needs and possibilities in California, Arizona and Texas.

Real progress in racial equity calls for us to work internally and externally, using all of our talent, resources, and relationships. Intel’s leadership team, our employees, and our ecosystem partners are deeply committed to making change possible. We will continue to use the power of data, innovation, and collaboration to drive equitable change—from the inside out. That approach, we believe, will allow us to build meaningful, lasting change for years to come.
About the Author
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