Working for workplace religious diversity, equity & inclusion


Pat Gelsinger and Sandra Rivera

Nominated by:

The leadership team from Intel’s “Cross-Religion & Faith Leaders Alliance”:

  • – Julia Brown-Gratcheva (Agnostics, Atheists and Allies at Intel) Oregon
  • – Sarah Huntington (Agnostics, Atheists and Allies at Intel) Oregon
  • – Alexander Saites (Agnostics, Atheists and Allies at Intel) Arizona
  • – May Mowzoon (Baha’i Intel Network) Arizona
  • – Craig Carter (Intel Bible-based Christian Network) Arizona
  • – Theo Martinescu (Intel Bible-based Christian Network) New Mexico
  • – Aaron Bell (Intel Jewish Community) Arizona
  • – Magid Latif (Intel Jewish Community) Oregon
  • – Hadi Sharifi (Intel Muslim Employee Group) Arizona
  • – Irfan Hasan (Intel Muslim Employee Group) Arizona
  • – Mohammed Shahid “Shahid” (Intel Muslim Employee Group) Oregon
  • – Tasvir Virk “Taz” (Intel Sikh Employee Group) California
  • – Suman A Sehra (Intel Sikh Employee Group) California

Biography – Pat Gelsinger

Patrick (Pat) Gelsinger is chief executive officer of Intel Corporation and serves on its board of directors. On Feb. 15, 2021, Gelsinger returned to Intel, the company where he had spent the first 30 years of his career. Before rejoining Intel, Gelsinger was CEO of VMware. In that role, he transformed VMware into a recognized global leader in cloud infrastructure, enterprise mobility and cyber security – almost tripling the company’s annual revenues. Gelsinger was also ranked the best CEO in America in 2019, according to an annual survey by Glassdoor. Prior to joining VMware in 2012, Gelsinger was president and chief operating officer of EMC’s Information Infrastructure Products business, overseeing engineering and operations for information storage, data computing, backup and recovery, RSA security and enterprise solutions. Gelsinger began his career in 1979 at Intel, becoming its first chief technology officer, and also serving as senior vice president and the general manager of the Digital Enterprise Group. He managed the creation of key industry technologies such as USB and Wi-Fi. He was the architect of the original 80486 processor, led 14 microprocessor programs and played key roles in the Intel® Core™ and Intel® Xeon® processor families, leading to Intel becoming the preeminent microprocessor supplier. Gelsinger earned several degrees in electrical engineering: an associate degree from Lincoln Technical Institute, a bachelor’s degree from Santa Clara University and a master’s degree from Stanford University. He holds eight patents in the areas of VLSI design, computer architecture and communications, is an IEEE Fellow, and serves as a member of the National Security Telecommunications Advisory Committee. Gelsinger and his wife have been married for over 30 years; they have four children and eight grandchildren. He is also a published author and speaks frequently on faith, work and philanthropy.

Biography – Sandra Rivera

Sandra L. Rivera is executive vice president and chief people officer at Intel Corporation. She leads Intel’s Human Resources organization and is responsible for driving greater business results through a culture that embraces diversity and inclusion as well as being responsible for the company’s policies and programs related to human resources worldwide. Before assuming her current role, she led the Network Platforms Group, which was a global organization of over 3,000 employees that drove the transformation of network infrastructure to Intel-based solutions and enabled breakthrough ways to integrate Intel’s silicon and software portfolio to create greater customer value. The organization was one of the Data Center Group’s fastest-growing businesses, enabling Intel to become a market leader for network logic silicon, an annual $20 billion market segment. Rivera joined Intel in 2000 as a marketing director after the acquisition of Dialogic Corporation. Before joining Intel, Rivera co-founded and served as president of The CTI Authority, and served as president of the computer telephony division at Catalyst Telecom. Rivera holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Pennsylvania State University. She sits on the Equinix board of directors and is a member of the Intel Hispanic Leadership Council.

Information about the policy, programme or initiative

1. Please describe a policy(s), programme(s) or initiative(s) that the Nominee (or the company the Nominee leads/led) has launched or spearheaded to advance the company’s efforts to champion interfaith understanding and peace (max 300 words)

At Intel, where Bob leads as CEO and Sandra as Chief People Officer, the support for faith based and all 30+ employee resource group is phenomenal. They have put good guidelines in place that govern groups and have supported faith–based groups for 25 years. There are dedicated prayer rooms at all major sites that have been created to support employees. Annually each Employee Resource Group receives a budget, has access to marketing/media, there are custom on-line tools that have been developed to assist all groups, for major events there often is funding that can be used, annual “open house” events at all major sites pulling together all Employee Resource Groups (ERG) for an event with food/games to invite employees to learn about and sign up for ERGs. Intel has done significant work in this space for decades, dedicating finances, space (prayer rooms) and given access to marketing. Under Bob’s and Sandra’s leadership, Intel received the second place among the Fortune 100 for having the most religious equity diversity and inclusion.

See four employee testimonies on Intel’s faith inclusion here:

No One Likes a Fake: Being Real Brings Life (Craig Carter)

Maybe This Can Save a Life, Like It Did For Me (Pedro Quesada)

Coherence (May Mowzoon)

No More Cold Cycle of Just Going to Work (Hadi Sharifi)

2. Which category or categories does the policy(s), programme(s) or initiative(s) fall into:

  • – Core Business
  • – Social Investment and Philanthropy (Intel matches employee donations)

3. Does the policy(s), programme(s) or initiative(s) address any of the following related to Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB):

  • – Non-discrimination and/or non-harassment on the basis of religion or belief
  • – Religious accommodation and inclusion
  • – Protecting and promoting freedom of religion or belief (FoRB) in the community
  • – Other (describe below, max. 25 words)
    • Inclusion is one of Intel’s 5 key corporate cultural values that employees are educated on and in the annual review cycle are graded on – which influences pay and financial rewards.  Faith is seen as part of the foundational cultural value of “Inclusion” at the company.  Seen as critical for Intel having strong and inclusive teams that allow employees to bring their best selves to work – which increases business profitability and employee satisfaction through better recruitment, retention and really strong teams.

4. Please describe the objective of the policy(s), programme(s) or initiative(s) and the need, goal or gap that it was designed to address. (max 200 words)

Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) foster an inclusive workplace aligning to Intel’s mission, values, business goals, and objectives (see chart). ERGs provide support, contribute to professional growth, and enhance career development for employees.  The core values for our leaders that govern current and future Employee Resource Groups allows them to flourish and expand, while keeping focused on the ultimate goals and purpose of their existence.

5. How was the policy(s), programme(s) or initiative(s) implemented?  What role did the Nominee play? (max 200 words)

Unique faith-based groups have existed at Intel since 1995, so the exact details how they were originally created are uncertain.  However, in 2019 a new Cross-Religion & Faith ERG Leaders Alliance was launched with strong support from Sandra Rivera and the entire HR Global Diversity Team.  The Nominator (Craig Carter) was the one that initiated the forming of this team, and all the members of the Cross-Religion & Faith ERG Leaders Alliance are signing and nominating our CEO Pat Gelsinger and Sandra Rivera for this award. Since Bob took over the CEO position, and Sandra the HR leadership, inclusion was added as one of Intel’s foundational cultural pillars for the company that helps create an inclusive environment where employees are encouraged to bring their full selves to work.

6. What were/are the most persistent challenges in implementing the policy(s), programme(s) or initiative(s)?  How were they/are they being overcome and what was the role of the Nominee? (max 200 words)

Pat Gelsinger has been CEO of Intel only for a short time.  However, he has built on decades of effort and and previous roles at Intel. He is frequently an advocate for workplace faith inclusion.

7. What are the key lessons learned from launching the policy(s), programme(s) or initiative(s)? (max 200 words)

Due to our CEO’s effort, it is changing lives. Bob and Sandra’s continued focus to include faith as a key part of inclusion has made this a reality. For example, a Muslim employee at our Washington DC office, “I can’t thank you enough. [Being able to pray at work] means a lot to me.”   Such feedback is common, another example of which is seen in a screen shot of a text Craig Carter received from an employee at Intel.

Impact and Reporting on Progress

1. How do you monitor and evaluate progress on the policy(s), programme(s) or initiative(s)? If relevant, what indicators and metrics are used? (max 200 words)

Every year, employee resource groups would reevaluate their approach and policies and evaluated their yearlong activities. The leaders of these group, along with HR leaders will have face to face meetings. The leaders of HR will seek feedback and offer help to the employee resource group to make their group achieve their goals and visions.  Employees are encouraged to “opt in” to employee groups, and these numbers are tracked year on year.

2. What outcomes or impact have been reached to date? Please be as specific as possible and supply available data. (max 200 words)

Intel has thousands of employees engaged in Faith-based employee groups.  A recent achievement is the REDI index award

3. Is the Nominee’s company reporting on its practices, policies, programmes and/or initiatives to champion interfaith understanding and peace? If so, please provide relevant weblink(s) for posting on the Awards’ website. If integrated into the company’s corporate sustainability report, Global Compact COP or GRI Report, please indicate relevant pages and/or sections. (max 200 words)

Intel includes all Faith Based Employee Resource Groups in its annual Corporate Responsibility report (p57) as being important to providing an inclusive environment.  Intel has had Faith Based ERGs for over 2 decades along with 30 other ERGs. See CSR landing page as well.

Additional Information:

A. How has the Nominee taken action to support and promote the UN Global Compact’s Ten Principles? If so, please specify. (max 200 words)

Intel’s communication on progress toward the Ten Principles shows a strong and sustained commitment. See latest reports here: UNGC LINK

B. Please provide any additional information to be considered.

Intel is an active member of UNGC, joining in 2009. For example, it played a leading role in starting the UNGC local network in Costa Rico (details). Intel participated in the UNGC event, Forced Labour Risks in Global Supply Chains: How to Address Risks, React to Challenges and Respond to Dilemmas.

Video: Intel’s Sandra Rivera Acceptance of 2021 REDI Award, scoring #1 on the Corporate Religious Equity, Diversity & Inclusion (REDI) Index

Video: CEO Pat Gelsinger Sees His Company as A Congregation Where He’s in Full-Time Ministry (Video)

Additional Videos: