Changing the Ratio

Diane Bryant ’85, executive vice president and general manager of the Data Center Group at Intel, is a leader in the field where artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing and other exciting innovations are poised to transform the way we live, learn, work and play. But, when asked what keeps her motivated, she notes that in terms of diversity, both tech and engineering stagger far behind other prestigious industries—a fact that Bryant is working tirelessly to change.

“The lack of equal representation in engineering and technology is an issue for a couple of reasons,” said Bryant, a graduate of UC Davis’ electrical engineering program. “First, no group should be left out of such high impact, high value and high reward professions as engineering and technology. And second, diversity of thought and diversity of experience is critical to innovation – to devising the best solutions and obtaining the best results.”

In fact, while women comprise 47 percent of the total U.S. workforce, they make up only 25 percent of tech and 15 percent of the engineering workforce. And certain ethnicities are even scarcer; many top tech companies have reported that African Americans make up less than two percent of their employees. These statistics motivate Bryant to push harder as a female Intel executive and engineer. And she also says they make her glad she’s an alumna of UC Davis, one of 13 universities that Forbes recently named among the Most Important STEM Colleges for Women.

“I am proud of being the most senior woman at Intel, which includes being the most senior technical woman at Intel, because I have the honor of being a role model to minority populations in tech,” said Bryant, who recently received the Cal Aggie Alumni Association’s 2017 Outstanding Alumna Award. “I am one data point of proof that the tech world presents wonderful opportunities for all.”

The Data Center Group is the fastest growing and most profitable division at Intel and is responsible for the products and technologies that fuel servers, storage and network infrastructure, making both the Internet and cloud computing possible. Bryant says her job, and the job of the Data Center Group, is “to deliver the technology solutions that drive transformation.” She is particularly excited about their efforts in artificial intelligence – a field she believes will transform the way all businesses operate and how people engage with the world.

To assist other smart and motivated Aggies, Bryant created the Diane Bryant Endowed Scholarship for Women in Engineering, which supports women pursuing engineering degrees at UC Davis.

“The culture of UC Davis is one of solving problems for the betterment of society—whether related to the environment, health, agriculture or tech,” said Bryant. “My rewarding career at Intel is a direct result of my engineering education at UC Davis. It’s literally impossible to separate who I am today from being an Aggie.”

Note: This story originally appeared in the spring 2017 issue of AggieXtra.