Skip to content
InTechnology Podcast

#35 -What That Means with Camille: Social Equity and Data Protection

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

•  Authenticity


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.”

Share on social:


Welcome to the Cyber Security Inside Podcast., Our first-ever video recording for What That Means. Let’s find out what our guests Rhonda Foxx and Monica Mahay have to say about social equity and cybersecurity. Here is your host Camille Mordhart.

What That Means: Social Equity & Cyber Security
I’m joined today by two amazing ladies: Rhonda Foxx and Monica Mahay.

Rhonda is Head of Social Equity Policies & Engagements at Intel. She’s a former US House of Representatives Chief of Staff and Congressional candidate. She founded HBCU House, a platform providing scholarship support that also connects students to career opportunities within emerging technologies and venture capital. She’s a policy wonk passionate about tech diversity, IoT, 5G, AI ethics & autonomous vehicles. She’s a Board of Visitors Member for North Carolina A&T State University and a former Ms. UNC Chapel Hill. She has a JD from the George Washington University Law School.

Monica is Head of Cybersecurity, Data and Privacy Legal for Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) at Intel. That means she provides legal oversight of all strategic and operational matters at Intel within EMEA that relate to privacy and security. She is the legal lead for the GDPR compliance program, and works closely with privacy teams across the company globally. She was a European Advisory Board Member for the International Association for Privacy Professionals, and prior to that she’s worked in privacy roles for Sage, the BBC, and NBC Universal.

First I want to discuss what social equity is. Let’s start by asking Rhonda to define it in under 3 minutes.
Rhonda Defines.
And now, because we’re going to get to this and how these two relate during our conversation, I want to get Monica to define cybersecurity for us in under 3 minutes.
Monica defines.

Then we move into the interview.

Rhonda Sample Questions:
Rhonda: How do you handle the relationship between equity and fairness?
In the case of fair but separate—we didn’t get rid of all stairs, we just added ramps to accommodate wheelchairs—that’s ok; but ‘separate but equal’ is a misnomer when it comes to schools. So do we need to look at the end goal?
Rhonda: How do we collectively figure out what ‘groups’ to segment people into to become representative? (even in US, we’ve separated ‘minority’ from ‘underrepresented minority’)
There are clearly other major categories—economic diversity, education diversity, rural/urban diversity, political diversity—that we don’t address federally in the same way.
Rhonda: Are we thinking people will bring diverse perspectives because they are different races or sexes or genders? I’m wondering if representation by segment is a means to a higher end? To become truly color or gender-blind, and only see each other as humans, we need to start by acknowledging the differences? My daughter asked me, ‘why do people think they will get a different opinion just because people are a different race? And…why do people think two people who are the same race or sex would have the same opinion?’
Rhonda: Has technology changed the definition of demographic segments? For example, has internet access equalized information access across rural vs. urban locations?
Monica: I want to ask you a similar question for EMEA. How has technology changed things in Europe, middle east, or Africa (pick one!) over the last period of time. you pick the period of time.
Monica: has this change affected all people similarly? Are the technologically privileged getting more technologically privileged while others are getting less so? Or is it the great equalizer? These days technology is everything—access to information, to banking, to credit, to social interactions? Those without are not connected are very much at a disadvantage to those who are connected.
Rhonda: How do privacy and security intersect with digital equity?
Rhonda: Intel just launched a new social equity framework. Can you talk about that briefly?
Monica: You have just begun a 6 month fellowship at Global Fund for Women to study tech equity.
How is tech equity related to gender? are you worried about biases in AI algorithms for example? Or is it more concern of sexual harassment crossing over into the digital world? (or both)
What’s the difference between what we think of as personal privacy and privacy in the cyber world?
Do you find that there is crossover from the digital world to the physical world of safety or security for girls or women? And is that different than for boys or men?
Do you ever see a conflict between cybersecurity and privacy?
Rhonda: What is US House Chief? What did you learn from this experience???
It’s very humble of you and brave of you to note on twitter you wanted to shatter the ceiling and become US Senate Chief, but didn’t make it. why share this dream if you didn’t ‘achieve it?’
Do you think it’s possible we could actually get to a place in America or anywhere in the world where policy was truly socially equitable—laws truly represent ‘we the people’? What would this require?
How is Intel partnering with Politico on Social Equity?
Monica & Rhonda: I read something the other day about how we need to stop talking about imposter syndrome with women, and instead look at the organizations that are structured in such a way that so many capable women end up feeling inadequate. what are your thoughts on this?

Should we have closing music?

More From