The Society of Women Engineers is celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month September 15 – October 15.
Imelda G. Castro of Intel received the Society of Women Engineers’ 2017 Advocating Women in Engineering Award. She was recognized for inspirational leadership in global inclusion — especially for Hispanic and underrepresented women; for cutting-edge technical learning expertise; and for guiding countless women to success in the STEM workplace.
Growing up in rural, northern New Mexico, Imelda G. Castro absorbed this message from her parents, both teachers: “No excuses.” Encouraged to work hard and excel, Castro was valedictorian of her high school class; won an academic scholarship to New Mexico State University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in business administration; and earned a bachelor of science in secondary education from The University of New Mexico. She is also a graduate of the UCLA Latino Leadership Institute program and the University of Virginia Darden School of Management “Leading for Extraordinary Results” program.
Castro joined Intel in 1982 as a member of the startup team for the company’s first factory in New Mexico. She has held many engineering management positions in Intel’s technology manufacturing group (TMG) in technical training, quality and reliability engineering, materials management, capacity management, supply chain management, software engineering, and technical workforce capability. Under her co-leadership, her cross-organizational team was recognized with the Intel Achievement Award for developing and implementing Intel’s capital equipment reuse program.
Since 2007, Castro has been director of equipment workforce capability in TMG. She leads an organization staffed by supply chain engineers, human performance technology engineers, and software engineers. She oversees the labor portion of the worldwide supply chain that service and maintain the billions of dollars of factory equipment that produce Intel’s processors. Her team develops the company’s high intellectual property process engineering training and develops software systems for learning, certification, and labor management in TMG. Castro is an expert in technical learning, and she and her team have been recognized for innovative workforce solutions from the American
Society for Training and Development (now the Association for Talent Development), Corporate University Xchange, World Procurement Leaders, and SCM World (a Gartner Community).
Throughout her career, Castro has advocated diversity and inclusion strategies for women, Latinos, and underrepresented minorities. Castro is the senior sponsor for the Arizona Women at Intel Network (WIN), an employee resource group that holds career development conferences, mentoring, and networking events. Under Castro’s 18-year leadership, Arizona WIN membership grew from 20 to 1,100 members. She is one of the leaders credited with expanding WIN to 46 chapters and 5,500 members worldwide, making it Intel’s largest employee resource group. Arizona WIN has received many awards for advancing women and developing leaders, four of whom are SWE Emerging Leader award recipients.
In 2005, galvanized by her time at the UCLA Latino Leadership Institute, Castro co-founded Intel’s Hispanic Leadership Council (IHLC), an assembly of the company’s most senior Hispanic leaders. She co-chairs the IHLC, doing recruiting, public speaking, mentoring, and sponsorship initiatives to meet the company’s hiring and retention goals. IHLC received the 2016 Intel Global Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Council of the Year Achievement Award. Castro received the 2017 Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers STAR Diversity Award and an Intel Lifetime Achievement Award for her impact on behalf of the company’s female and Hispanic employees.
Castro and her husband have two daughters: Breanna, a graduate of the Academy of Art University in San Francisco, and Kathleen, a graduate of The University of Arizona.