Intel Pledges $300 Million To Reach Diversity In Its Workforce By 2020

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There are many tech giants who, in 2014, after releasing the results of their diversity reports, claimed they understood their lack of equality in the workplace and pledged to change this in the future. Facebook and Google were among the first to share their staff details with the public, showing that white males overwhelmingly make up leadership and tech positions at these companies.

Indiegogo and Pandora released reports showing that they actually fare a little better then other Silicon Valley tech counterparts, but they have not reached equality in terms of minorities and women in positions of leadership and specific tech roles within their companies.

One company that plans to out-diversify the rest is Intel. The tech giant has not only acknowledged their low numbers of women and minorities in their ranks, but they have an active plan laid out which they hope will change the ratio.

At the recent Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, CEO Brian Krzanich announced during his keynote speech that the company has set an aggressive goal of reaching diversity by 2020, and have even pledged $300 million to fund the hiring and retention of women and underrepresented minorities.

According to USA Today, this is the largest investment yet diversity by any tech company, so bravo to these guys!

“It’s time to step up and do more. It’s not good enough to say we value diversity,” Brian said, while also mentioning inclusion is the one word that can change the tech industry for the better.

“This isn’t just good business. This is the right thing to do,” he said.

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Intel said it’s aiming for its U.S. workforce to represent the talent available in America, including a greater representation of women and minorities in senior leadership positions. They specifically want to target the African-American and Latino communities for new jobs at the company.

Michelle Quinn at Contra Costa Times writes that the gauntlet has now been laid for the rest of Silicon Valley’s top tech companies to follow suit.

“Silicon Valley is very good at solving problems — that’s what the best technology does. Now that Intel has taken this first step, it is more than time for the rest of the valley’s major companies to tell us just how they plan to solve this problem,” she writes.

Intel has a great history of reaching out to black universities and hiring women and minorities as college grads, but it’s the next level up when you start to see senior level management positions where the diversity drops off in even greater numbers.

Rev. Jesse Jackson who was in attendance at the keynote speech in Las Vegas wants to see other companies take the “parity pledge”.

Diversity is something that has increasingly been on the radar of not just tech companies, but larger corporations around the world. In Germany, the Frauenquote was recently introduced which is a law championed by Chancellor Angela Merkel which mandates companies listed on the German Stock Exchange must have a minimum of 30% of women on their boards or leave the seats empty.

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The European Union is also wanting to implement new laws for companies operating within the union to make sure diversity and gender equality is one of their priorities.

For example, Europe’s largest insurance company Allianz have recently stated they want to increase the number of women in company leadership roles to 30% by the end of 2015.

“The goal is to change ingrained thought patterns that all too often see leadership qualities as masculine,” Wolfgang Brezina, head of human resources for Allianz Germany said. “We wanted to create an awareness that people are unconsciously pigeonholed during job interviews, a process known as unconscious bias. The best manager is not always the most masculine or the one with the deepest voice.”

Apparently it is this stereotypical thinking that men are often chosen over women for leadership roles. Allianz has developed a standardized questionnaire to act as a guideline during interviews in an attempt to avoid stereotypical thought processes.

Allianz have been rather transparent in how they plan to increase diversity, especially since they plan to reach their goal by the end of the year. Intel have certainly released a greater amount of information in terms of how they hire staff and what they plan to do, but it will be the results that speak loud and clear above all announcements, press releases, pledges and goals.

But it is a good start and it will hopefully allow other companies to recognize the need to follow suit, and the need for diversity in the workforce.

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2 Comments

  1. Pingback: Cultivating Gender Diversity In The Workforce: Why Companies Should Hire More Women - GirlTalkHQ

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