Intel's Diversity Report: Some Progress, More Work Ahead - InformationWeek

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Intel's Diversity Report: Some Progress, More Work Ahead

Intel has set ambitious goals to increase diversity within its US workforce. A new report shows that the chipmaker has made progress since announcing its five-year, $300 million plan. But there's more to be done in the years ahead.

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Intel wants people to know it's making progress in its efforts to improve diversity in the workforce. To emphasize that point, on Wednesday the chipmaker issued a report that revealed the company exceeded its annual hiring goal, achieving 43.1% in diversity hiring against a goal of 40%.

The Feb. 3 report, "Intel Diversity and Inclusion Annual Report 2015," is part of the company's five-year, $300 million plan to increase diversity within its US workforce. While the chipmaker has made some progress within its 50,000 plus US workforce, especially as regards women, Intel is still having some issues recruiting and retaining minority workers.

Overall, Intel increased its hiring of women by nearly 43% to a total of 35% in 2015. The company showed progress in representation for women at Intel across all career segments, including leadership, senior, middle, and early levels, according to the internal report.

The company ended 2015 with 17.6% female representation in leadership, a 14.3% increase from 2014, and also added to the ranks of their most senior tech women, ending 2015 with 21 senior principal engineers and fellows, up from 12 in 2014.

(Image: Jason Doiy/iStockphoto)

(Image: Jason Doiy/iStockphoto)

The company also increased hiring of underrepresented minorities by 31% to a total of 11.8% in 2015, and narrowed the gap in female representation, ending the year with a workforce that's nearly a quarter women, a 5.4% increase over 2014.

"Intel is evolving, and diversity and inclusion are among the most important forces driving that evolution and reinvention," according to the report. "Our commitment to diversity comes from our conviction that reaching a critical mass of women and underrepresented minorities in our workforce brings ample benefits. These go far beyond the business benefits to Intel -- which are many -- to include the entire tech industry and our wider communities beyond."

For 2016, the company hopes to achieve 45% diverse hiring in the US, with a new sub-goal of 14% hiring of underrepresented minorities and a focus on improved retention.

In 2015, Intel set a goal to be the first high-tech company to reach full representation of women and underrepresented minorities in its US workforce by 2020.

Some of the tech industry's other big players, including search giant Google and social networking behemoth Facebook, have also announced plans to focus more on encouraging diversity in their own workplaces and across the field as a whole.

In May, Google issued a promise to do more to improve the diversity of its employees, releasing a holistic plan based on a four-point strategy.

The specific objectives center on hiring, fostering a fair and inclusive culture, expanding the pool of technologists, and reaching out to underrepresented communities, including women and minorities, through the Accelerate with Google Academy.

Google said it has doubled the number of schools to which sends recruiters, and expects that this year 20% of its new hiring will come from those campuses.

[Read how Apple is inching its way to a more diverse workforce.]

Facebook is looking to reach out to minorities with the launch of TechPrep, a resource hub where underrepresented people and their parents and guardians can learn more about computer science and programming, and can find resources to get them started.

The Facebook-led initiative, supported McKinsey & Company, is the result of a study the company commissioned about the participation of underrepresented minorities in programming careers.

The study found a majority of parents say they do not know how to help their child pursue computer science.

What have you done to advance the cause of Women in IT? Submit your entry now for InformationWeek's Women in IT Award. Full details and a submission form can be found here.

Nathan Eddy is a freelance writer for InformationWeek. He has written for Popular Mechanics, Sales & Marketing Management Magazine, FierceMarkets, and CRN, among others. In 2012 he made his first documentary film, The Absent Column. He currently lives in Berlin. View Full Bio

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