Intel Invests in Diversity


Intel Invests $300 Million to Improve Its Workplace Diversity

2015 Consumer Electronics Show

Intel has joined the chorus of corporate giants publicly acknowledging that women and minorities are underrepresented in the tech world. This week, the chip maker said it will invest $300 million to encourage more diversity inside its organization, while announcing concrete goals it hopes to hit by the year 2020.

In the midst of other announcements at this week’s CES trade show in Las Vegas, including a collaboration with Oakley to make new wearables and a tiny hardware module called Curie meant for wearables the size of a button, CEO Brian Krzanich said Intel would use that $300 million to help improve the pipeline for women and minorities, actively support the hiring and retention of diverse candidates, and fund programs that support the positive representation of women and minorities in technology and gaming industries.

“We’re calling on our industry to again make the seemingly impossible possible by making a commitment to real change and clarity in our goals,” Krzanich said in a statement. “Without a workforce that more closely mirrors the population, we are missing opportunities, including not understanding and designing for our own customers.”

To get the ball rolling, Intel will partner with organizations within the industry, including the International Game Developers Association, the E-Sports League, the National Center for Women in Technology, and others. The company will also collaborate with minority-serving elementary schools and computer science and engineering programs at colleges for the effort. And by 2020, Krzanich has vowed, the company should have a “full representation” of women and minorities at Intel—meaning it will be more representative of the available talent in America, including closing the gap at the leadership level.

The presence of the gender and diversity gap has long been an issue in the world of tech, and recently, activists have pushed big-name companies to at least be more transparent about the composition of their workforces. Many companies—including Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft, Twitter, and others—have complied, making their internal diversity reports available for scrutiny. But the next phase is finding ways of actually changing the makeup of these companies. Intel, it appears, is taking its first step in that direction.

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