Intel Chief Diversity Officer Explains Why Minorities Matter
Technology

Intel Chief Diversity Officer Explains Why Minorities Matter

roz hudnell intel CDO
Intel Chief Diversity Officer Roz Hudnell spoke about Intel's commitment to diversity and why minorities are so necessary to technology. (Image credit: Intel)

roz hudnell intel CDO
Intel Chief Diversity Officer Roz Hudnell spoke about Intel's commitment to diversity and why minorities are so necessary to technology. (Image credit: Intel)

Q: Are you guys using the initiative to invest in gaming projects?

A: Yes, we are, and we’re using it to be a leader. We’re using it to provide forums where people can come together to address the issue of lack of inclusion in gaming. We’re using it to look at how we can fund more diverse gaming teams, how we can provide more funding to gaming companies that are owned and developed by diverse individuals, we have Robin Hunicke who is the founder and owner of Funomena, which is a gaming company, on stage with Brian Krzanich last week at a panel we did.

Q: How did you get started with Intel?

A: I got recruited over 18 years ago. At the time, I was working for the Urban League, and I had developed jobs and skills training with UC Davis Med Center. My experiences primarily have been in that space, but I was brought into public affairs work for the company, and that was my first job in Folsom, Calif.

I was on an advisory committee with Linda Wells-Hott, and she called and said, “We have a job here. Send me your resume.” I said, ‘I don’t have a resume. I don’t have time.’ She said, ‘Well make one. I’ve got to interview you.”

So I gave her my resume. Lo and behold, I got hired, and it’s been an amazing career.

I’ve been blessed. I have had many times where people have called me to leave Intel, and a lot of people ask why I’m still there, and this is so perfect, I say because the ability to drive change in a technology company when you’re not a technologist and to do it at a scale like Intel is unbelievable. So my last big project, and I was much more junior than I am now, I had this idea for an after school program to invest more in brown and black communities after-school and my first mentor was Carl Everett the first vice president of the company, and we were sitting in the café and neither of us had any paper and I literally grabbed the napkin I wish I had kept, and we wrote and put it out and then tore it the first time so I got another one.

It ended up being the Intel Computer Clubhouse Network which we’re still invested in. We spent almost 30 million dollars on that program alone, we have two clubhouses here in Harlem, and the fact that this as I call it this little black girl from California could be given a platform and when you think about it, the scale that we drive as leaders in the industry is phenomenal. So the reason we could do what we did last week is because we have a CEO who stepped back and said when you see something that’s not going right for ten years we’ve made some incremental improvements, we’ve gone through from 0 to 7 and growing black VP’s in a company that primarily promotes, it wasn’t hiring, it’s retention, recruiting, progression, all that to say you know what? I’m not going to take another 10 years to improve by 1%.

What’s it going to take? Focus, commitment, goals, and resources like an engineer.


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