10-12-2021 10:35 AM
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Amanda Garcia Salinas is focused on retaining executive employees at Intel, but she is also devoted to making Intel a safe and inclusive place for those who self-identify as disabled. In fact, Intel’s Disability and Accessibility Network (IDAN), which Amanda helps lead, just won Disability:IN’s 2021 Employee Resource Group of the Year award. We talked with Amanda about her passion for inclusion and how her work with IDAN connects to the company’s overall RISE strategy.
Discover why she thinks embracing our differences is the key to a more inclusive future.
What’s your role at Intel, and what do you like about your job?
I work in the Global Diversity and Inclusion and Social Impact team. In my job as an Executive Warmline Advisor, I'm focused on retaining executive talent at Intel. I am also the Arizona site leader for IDAN. Through this employee resource group (ERG), I’ve helped make Intel a safe and inclusive place for those who self-identify as disabled for nearly 20 years.
The cool part about my role is that it feeds into the passion I have for our disability community and helping everyone feel like they are included and belong at Intel. At some point everyone faces a career challenge that they want to get support or advice on. My job in the Executive Warmline is to be a safe place for someone at Intel to reach out and get the help or support they are looking for. Working directly with executives gives me insight into their priorities, strengths, and challenges. It gives me a path to advocate for inclusive behaviors that waterfall through the organization.
What is your motivation behind working toward disability inclusivity?
My journey started about 23 years ago when my oldest daughter was born with a disability. It was a new world for me. And through her challenges and her journey, I have learned so much. I just want the opportunity for everyone to pursue their dreams and have an environment that embraces that.
How does your work with IDAN connect to Intel’s RISE strategy and 2030 goals?
One of the focus areas for RISE and the disability community is increasing our percentage of employees that are comfortable self-identifying as having a disability. We want to see 10% of our workforce self-identifying—the only way people feel comfortable doing this is if they believe they can bring their whole self to work and know it won't impact their job. That takes a psychologically safe space, and I think the ERGs do a great job of providing that space and building that trust.
The RISE 2030 goals are a benchmark for the work I want to continue doing for the community. These goals push us forward, serving as milestones to reach the responsible, inclusive, and sustainable future we want.
Is there a specific project or initiative you are working on that makes you proud?
One of the coolest things that we’ve done during COVID was to create isolation-to-inclusion coffee talks. We opened them up to everyone at Intel, not just the disability community because we knew everyone was feeling isolated. People needed a safe space to talk about what was going on in their lives. People could come in and share what concerns they were having or what their experiences were and get some helpful resources.
If Intel reaches its 2030 goals, what do you hope life looks like in 2030?
At Intel, my hope for the future beyond 2030 is that we might not need employee resource groups like IDAN anymore. We may not need the focus on being inclusive at Intel because it's completely embedded in the fabric of our culture.
And more broadly, my hope is that anyone, like my daughter, can come into a room—no matter where they're from—and feel like they belong.
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About the Author
We make the impossible possible and empower millions around the world through great technology, good corporate citizenship, and inclusive culture. We are Intel, and these are our stories.