Being responsible for bringing on and developing a diverse and incredibly talented staff is a huge task that Intel Corporation executive Rosalind L. Hudnell takes seriously. As the tech brand’s Vice President of Human Resources and Chief Diversity Officer, she strategically concocts and spearheads action plans dedicated to creating an all-inclusive environment for individuals from marginalized communities.
A veteran executive in publishing and cable television, Hudnell oversees Intel’s Diversity in Technology Initiative, a comprehensive, $300 million five-year plan to specifically attract more women and underrepresented ethnic minorities to the company. Plans include investing in various minority-owned start-up companies and negotiating business deals with various suppliers.
There’s more to Hudnell’s agenda than the dollars Intel is pledging. The delightful and petite power player wants the general public and the press to be fully aware of how the internal culture of Intel and the larger tech industry will change. “The money is important, and a lot of people focus on that,” says Hudnell. “The harder work is to ensure we’re doing a better job of recruiting, retaining, developing and progressing,” she adds.
Hudnell joined Intel in 1996. The distinguished alumna of St. Mary’s College and UCLA’s Anderson School of Management was instrumental in implementing a Computer Clubhouse Network, a hub and mentorship program for youth in underserved communities using STEM education. Over 25,000 youth participate in 100 clubhouses located in 19 countries yearly. A forerunning, multiple award-winning influencer, Hudnell co-founded Intel’s Black Executive Council, also partnering with the U.S. Department of Labor and Education on the creation of tech training, workshops and programming.
The high-ranking executive was recently honored as Corporate Executive of the Year at the sixth annual National Action Network Triumph Awards. Dressed in a striking black gown, Hudnell, named a Senior Fellow for the American Leadership Forum and active board member of the Center for Talent Innovation, took a moment to list a few upcoming outreach efforts between Intel and various educational institutions.
Hudnell, who manages the 10K Engineer’s Initiative for the President’s Council on Jobs & Competitiveness, has partnered with Dr. Gary May, Georgia Tech’s Dean of the College of Engineering, to concentrate on getting more students of color involved in engineering. There are similar outreach efforts to focus on including students in open unified school districts in California.
The ongoing tasks that come with Hudnell’s title, leadership and vision can be grueling at times. She’s constantly asked to offer her insights as a guest speaker and co-author of peer reviewed journal articles. Still, the graceful-yet-self-conscious former Executive Vice President of the National GEM Consortium says those upcoming projects yield results almost immediately.
“It’s not that it’s easy,” says Hudnell holding her Triumph Award trophy like a baby, “but that’s the stuff we can get done pretty quickly. I have to make decisions everyday, and I just hope that I’m making those decisions that are going to be the best.”
Earning the Triumph Award is the end result of Hudnell stepping up to the challenge in an ever changing tech climate. The forward thinking curator of workplace development is humbled and empowered by receiving the honor from Rev. Al Sharpton and his civil rights organization, pointing out how she appreciates being valued for her professional advocacy.
Hudnell ponders over speaking on how gratifying it is to be respected and acknowledged for her corporate and social responsibility efforts, joking how she hopes one day that her grandchildren will overlook her career in favor of pointing out how beautiful she looks.
“It means more than I could put into words,” says Hudnell immediately after her acceptance speech. “What was given by me is just as important as accepting this award. I’m glad I get to do this in front of my family and have them accompany me. It’s quite a blessing.”
This post was written by Christopher A. Daniel, pop cultural critic and music editor for the Burton Wire. He is also contributing writer for Urban Lux Magazine and Blues & Soul Magazine. Follow Christopher @Journalistorian on Twitter.