Intel reaches internal diversity goal but resolves to go even further

31 Oct 2018

Intel server room. Image: alexeynovikov/Depositphotos

Chip giant Intel wants to shine a light for the entire tech industry to follow.

Intel has reached an internal diversity goal that reflects the available talent pool in the US skilled labour market.

While this does not mean by any stretch of the imagination that it has reached gender or racial equality, the tech player has described it as a first step towards broader diversity.

‘We need to make sure inclusion remains at the centre. Every voice matters, and we need to listen and act to make change happen’

According to its latest progress report on diversity, the Intel workforce employs 27pc female workers, 9.2pc Hispanic workers and just under 5pc African-American workers.

“We are proud of our progress but not satisfied,” said Barbara Whye, Intel’s chief diversity and inclusion officer, and vice-president of human resources for its technology, systems architecture and client group.

“We prioritise this as a business imperative to drive innovation and future growth. Diversity and inclusion cannot be treated as an add-on. It has to be integrated into everything we do and this is just the beginning. We need to make sure inclusion remains at the centre. Every voice matters, and we need to listen and act to make change happen.”

2020 vision

Intel set a goal for itself in January 2015 to reach full representation of women and underrepresented minorities in the US workforce by 2020. The company committed $300m to support that goal and the broader goal of improving diversity and inclusion across the entire tech industry.

Since setting the goal, the number of underrepresented minorities and women in Intel’s US workforce has increased for the fourth consecutive year. Overall representation of underrepresented minorities at Intel in the US is now at 14.6pc.

In March, the tech giant said that the remaining gap to full representation was with African-American employees. African-Americans had the highest overall underrepresented minority percentage point increase in the US employee population, and now make up 4.6pc of employees overall.

Women account for nearly 27pc of Intel’s total US employee base, with almost 24pc of women in technical roles. The company offers several programmes to support women through career progression, including: Pay It Forward, a mentoring programme scaled to support 6,000 female mid-level employees; and Women at Intel Network, the company’s largest employee resource group, which supports more than 7,000 employees globally.

To keep up the momentum, Intel said that it will be deploying its Warmline initiative – a confidential employee designed to help employees with career advancement – globally to drive leadership parity and focus on women of colour. Since inception, Warmline has received more than 20,000 cases with a retention rate of 82pc.

Intel server room. Image: alexeynovikov/Depositphotos

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years