In this episode of What That Means, Camille talks with Rhonda Foxx (Head of Social Equity Policies & Engagement at Intel) and Monica Mahay (Head of Cybersecurity, Data & Privacy Legal for EMEA at Intel) about social equity and the corporate role.
What do businesses need to be doing to ensure diversity, fairness, and inclusion in the workplace? Are we working towards an end goal or is this an ongoing journey that requires us to consistently monitor and adjust? The conversation covers:
• Code switching
• DEI (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion)
• Data protection
• Social, tech, and education equity
• Imposter syndrome
And more. This is a must-listen for businesses in and outside of the tech space. Don’t miss it!
Here are some key take-aways:
• Social equity is about ensuring that we’re all treated equally and fairly, and that we’re not discriminated against in some way because of the way we look, where we live, etc. It’s about fairness and inclusion.
• Data protection is responsible and accountable use of data that relates to individuals. This encompasses things like transparency and security.
• Diversity alone isn’t the end goal. We don’t just want all people represented in our companies – we also want all people to be treated equally, to be invited to the same table, and to have the same experience.
• DEI (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion) is an evolution, not an end destination.
• Technology is not the great equalizer because not everyone has access to the same technology. Many of us sit in a place of privilege and have advantages that others don’t. Data shows that women in particular are at a tech disadvantage and less likely to have access to the Internet.
• Because of disparities in access to education, Internet, and the technology needed to connect and learn in the socially isolating WFH/home-school environment brought on by the pandemic, those without the means are falling behind. There are programs out there to assist families and individuals, but help came a bit late.
• Tech companies are leaning into social equity because there’s a realization that if we don’t have tech equity, we’re going to leave people behind. When we lean into equity, it’s the right thing to do – but it’s also imperative for business.
• We need to be looking at our own technologies and making sure we’re not creating bigger divides. We also need to be looking at pay equity – ensuring we’re paying our employees equally and investing in suppliers, vendors, and businesses that align with our DEI goals.
• While things need to change at the policy level, we can’t afford to wait for laws to change. We have to do our part to push important issues forward because they matter to our employees and our communities.
• We also need to look at who’s setting the tone and culture in our workplaces. Is everyone represented? Our employees should be able to bring their authentic selves to work, but many don’t feel like they can. For example, in the Black community, there are concerns about how hair should be worn to work, and what’s considered a ‘professional’ or ‘unprofessional’ look. Our employees shouldn’t have to worry about fitting into a mold or reflecting an image that was created without them in mind.
Some interesting quotes from today’s episode:
“Social equity for me is fairness and it’s inclusion, not predicated upon what I look like.”
“Well, I think at its fundamental core, fairness is about equity. You’re not going to get to a place of fairness if we’re not looking at how can we be more equitable, how can we be more inclusive to have greater equality?”
“The concept of separate but equal is a discriminatory thought in and of itself. Why on earth would we be separate? And if you are separate, how on earth could you be equal?”
“So, we’ve got to take people’s uniqueness into consideration, and take diversity and inclusion and make it more about intersectionality of all of our different complexities to get to a baseline of equity.”
“DEI is an evolution, not just a finite.”
“Many of us will sit around, watch Netflix and listen to podcasts and eBooks, and we have access to next day, same day delivery of games, clothes, food, online gaming, and we can call family and friends through a video call and see their faces. But despite all of these advantages, we still suffer from feelings of isolation and mental health issues. But imagine going through the pandemic with no access to the Internet or with very limited access to the Internet.”
“Right now, there’s still a huge divide in access to technology. And it is also generally worse for women…”
“We’ve got to double down on our commitment to be responsible, to be inclusive, and to be sustainable, because we have no choice but to, because it’s the right thing to do. But it’s also the business imperative as well.”
“But now we’re going a step further and we’re saying, You know what? We’re never going to have equity, we’re never going to have diversity and inclusion goals met internally, if we don’t go all the way back to the basics.”
“We know you’re never going to be on the right path to compete for tech opportunities if you’re not given education on an equitable level at your earliest point.”
“[There’s] this perception that because something happens online, it kind of doesn’t matter, you can turn the computer off, that it actually doesn’t affect your ‘real life.’ But actually, impacts of online abuse are very real.”
“It’s going to hit a point where, if we really want to get into equity and equality, we’re going to have to knock down some systems and some structures and rebuild.”