As efforts to increase diversity in the technology industry progress slowly,it is setting new goals for 2030.
In Intel’s corporate responsibility report, released Thursday, May 14, the company says it will increase the number of women in technical positions to 40 percent and double the number of underrepresented women and ethnic minorities in positions of leadership. The report also covers other topics such as sustainability, the supply chain and social impact.
“We have a history of setting ambitious goals and reporting transparently on both our progress and our challenges. For decades, we have worked to advance progress on complex issues with our clients and investors,” said Bob Swan, CEO from Intel in the report.
The report comes at a time when tech companies face increased scrutiny over the demographics of their staff. In 2014, when big tech companies like Google and Facebook started publishing theirThe industry got the numbers that proved what was pretty obvious: White men dominate the tech industry.
Companies have launched initiatives ranging from mandatory workshops on unconscious bias and employee resource groups to charity efforts targeting educational organizations. With this, year after year, the percentages of women and minority groups have slowly increased in the technology industry. Some reports still do not disclose intersectional data (for example, data showing not only the percentage of women in a company, but also of women from ethnic minority groups).
In the past five years, Intel has been one of the companies that has tried to adjust its own staff to be less demographically homogeneous. At CES 2015, then-Intel Chief Executive Brian Krzanich said he was going to spend $ 300 million in efforts to increase diversity, saying that Intel would achieve equal representation by 2020., which means that its workforce represents the population percentage of women and members of ethnic groups. In 2019, Intel said there was . The chipmaker also invests $ 1 billion each year in “minority-owned vendors.” About $ 200 million of that amount goes to women-owned supplier companies worldwide.
Intel is setting a goal that 40 percent of technical positions are filled by women. This in view of the fact that none of the big tech companies like Google, Apple or Facebook have reached 30 percent in this regard. Intel’s figure is currently at 27 percent.
Intel’s director of diversity and vice president of human resources, Barbara Whye, said Intel set the 40 percent goal by considering other available demographics, such as the percentage of women in the U.S. workforce (46 percent) and the percentage of women who graduate with university degrees (57 percent). Whye also recognized that it is an ambitious goal.
“We are aiming for big, bold goals,” Whye said, “we set these impossible goals, and then we apply the engineering mindset just as we would other issues at Intel or any engineering challenge at Intel.”
Intel launched a series of initiatives to address various issues and phases in which women and people from minority groups tend to quit their jobs (or do not end up in the tech industry), such as building relationships with African American student universities, establishing more than 30 employee resource groups and teach managers to lead a more diverse and inclusive team.
There is also the goal of doubling the percentage of underrepresented women and minorities in leadership positions. Studies have shown that having diverse leaders can help attract and retain diverse staff.
When asked about specific steps Intel would take regarding women from ethnic minority groups, Whye brought up internal leadership councils for African American and Hispanic employees that focus on creating a channel for advancement to leadership positions.
“It is not enough to have representation when this representation is not reflected in the highest levels of influence in the organization,” Whye said. “Leaders and managers hire, advance and fire. If you don’t have the right level of representation, it’s very difficult to sustain an inclusive mix that you have worked so hard to create.”
Beyond Intel itself, the company is starting to work on what it calls the Global Index Index. Intel plans to recruit other companies in the industry to agree on language and metrics when talking about the meaning of diversity and inclusion.
While there are studies that point to diverse businesses and teams being more creative and innovative, Whye put these diversity goals and the need for the industry as a whole to diversify in the context of the coronavirus pandemic.
“My concern is that there is a voice in a Zoom conference room or virtual room today that has a solution to a problem,” he said, “but that voice is quiet because we have not created an inclusive environment for that voice to be heard. voice”.