Intel to invest US$300m in workplace diversity

7 Jan 2015

Chip giant Intel has taken major steps to improve its workplace diversity as the tide continues to turn on global tech giants.

In an industry still dominated by male employees – the majority of workers in most positions of authority – Intel has announced it is to have a budget of US$300m to promote diversity.

“This is the right time to make a bold statement,” said Intel CEO Brian Krzanich in The New York Times, after announcing this programme at the International CES in Las Vegas this week.

“It’s kind of Intel’s culture. We march by Moore’s Law. We say we’re going to reinvent Silicon every two years even though we don’t really know how we’re going to pull that off.”

Every year, major tech companies release their own versions of diversity reports, however, they all pretty much say the same thing. More than two-thirds of employees are often male, and, when race is listed, most employees are white.

Intel’s own reports show more than three-quarters of its US workers are male, but it’s something the company is working on. However, it won’t be easy, as Intel is a very engineer-heavy operation, and the majority of college graduates in that field are male.

According to The New York Times, the company estimates that if the black population with the appropriate technical skills was fully represented at Intel today, the company’s current population of black workers would grow by about 48pc.

US tech giants have come under increasing pressure of late to give better, more detailed reports on their workforce, and subsequently act to alter the clear demographical slant within their operations.

Intel got its fingers burnt by Gamergate last year, when it briefly got caught up in an online gaming gender war. That seems to have resonated with Krzanich, though, who cites his daughters as a reason behind this Intel policy.

“I have two daughters of my own coming up on college age,” he said in The New York Times. “I want them to have a world that’s got equal opportunity for them.”

Intel is setting up a women’s gaming team as part of this new approach, and it’s looking to double the number of women working in the games industry over the next decade.

Female and male job candidates image via Shutterstock

Inspire 2015 is Silicon Republic’s international event running 18-19 June in Dublin that connects sci-tech professionals passionate about the future of STEM with fresh perspectives on leadership, innovation and diversity.

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic