Saturday, 28 May, 2016

Diversity Goals Still Challenge the Tech Industry

Charlie Nash8 Feb 20160 8 Feb 2016 8 Feb 2016 Charlie Nash8 Feb 20160 8 Feb 2016 8 Feb 2016
Sherri Watson | 08 February, 2016, 09:14

A year into a $300 million effort to diversify the company, Intel said Wednesday it has made modest progress on increasing the number of women in its work force - but no progress at all in increasing its percentage of African-American and Latino employees. The company increased the number of women hired in technical jobs by 1.1 percentage points.

In total, Intel invested $52.4 million in 2015 on all its diversity and inclusion efforts, both inside and outside the company. The chip-making tech giant is the largest private employer in Oregon. The company said it's studying the issue with minority employees and top executives. The number of Hispanics increased by 137.

The company has embarked on a mission to ensure complete representation of women and minorities company-wide by the end of 2020. "While our workforce representation goals are just one part of the comprehensive, multi-year strategy we embarked on in early 2015, we firmly believe in transparency and sharing our progress on this front", Intel wrote in the report.

The company also received some criticism after numbers from its recently released disclosure to the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission appeared to diverge from the numbers in its own diversity report released in July 2015.

The lack of diversity in Silicon Valley has been a problem that's stubbornly existed for years, so it should come as little surprise that Intel wasn't able to make drastic changes in just the first of its five-year diversity initiative. However, some people are not happy with the fact that the company did not have a higher representation of African Americans.

Krzanich said Intel, which is the only major technology company to publicly set a goal for increasing diversity, said 2015 had been "an amazing first year" but conceded that "we are far from done". Intel has pledged to increase fertility benefits, support for adoption and push the duration of its maternity leave package to eight weeks of paid leave following a birth.

Though its headquarters are in Santa Clara, California, Intel's largest operations are in Washington County. The company has 18,600 employees at its Oregon campuses, more than any other business in the state.

 

But, Intel is saying it's having trouble holding onto the younger minority workers: for example, African-Americans make up 4.8% of Intel workers early in their careers, down from 5.1% in 2014.