Forty-three percent of Intel's nearly 3,000 hires in the US in 2015 were women and underrepresented minorities, surpassing the company's hiring goal of 40%.
Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) CEO Brian Krzanich highlighted this fact in a keynote otherwise dominated by the glitz and glamor of future technologies at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this month. That's because Intel sees diversity as vital to the future of our industry in the same way that the Internet of Things (IoT), drones and connectivity will be. It made a pledge at last year's CES to achieve full representation of women and underrepresented minorities in Intel's US workforce by 2020.
"I did this for one simple reason: If we want the technology industry to define the future, we must be representative of that future. And we must represent the consumers and the populations we serve. And this genuinely leads to better business results," Krzanich said, according to The Latin Press.
Currently, Intel's overall US workforce is made up of 24.1% women and 13.7% underrepresented minorities -- far from equal, but not uncommon for most large tech companies in the US. (See Intel's full breakdowns here.)
Krzanich has made both hiring more women and minorities and retaining them a top-down priority, offering bonuses to those managers who hired from both groups. The company said that, of all new hires in 2015, 35% were women, 4.7% were African American, 7.5% were Hispanic and 0.3% were Native American.
Notably, the Intel boss said that the company also reached its goal of increasing retention of its underrepresented employees to full parity with the rest of its workforce. This can often be a challenge as women tend to leave the workforce at a higher rate than men -- not only because of family decisions, but also for reasons related to barriers to advancement in the workplace, according to a recent McKinsey & Co. study. (See Vodafone's Doberneck: Put Policies Into Practice to Retain Women and McKinsey: Women Less Likely to Advance at Work.)
As its diversity improves inside the company, Intel has also committed to improving the landscape for all women and minorities in tech: It is tackling online harassment and cyber bulling, which unfortunately has become common in Silicon Valley. It has committed $300 million over three years for scholarships and programs to bolster the pipeline of women and minorities pursuing STEM careers, and Intel has and has opened up a $125 million fund to invest in startups owned by women and minorities (which you can nominate a candidate for right here on Women in Comms). (See Intel & Partners Fight Online Harassment and Calling All Women Startups! Intel Wants to Give You Money.)
Most importantly (in our biased view), it is also the Founding Member of Light Reading's Women in Comms non-profit, which is officially launching this week, helping to tackle the issue industry wide with more than 20 other leading companies in the next-gen comms industry. (See Women in Comms Announces Intel, Sprint, Nokia, CommScope, Fujitsu, SAP, Ciena, AT&T & Vodafone Americas as Members Ahead of 2016 Launch, Intel Urges Women to Take Advantage of Their Seat at the Table and Intel's Sandra Rivera Weighs In on WiC.)
— Sarah Thomas, , Editorial Operations Director, Light Reading