Intel is yet another technology company that is facing the issue of gender inequality. The issue is such that it cannot be tackled by one company alone but needs a joint effort from all major companies, believes Intel President Renee James. According to James, the solution should be such that not only it takes care of the problem of retention but also the pipeline problem.
Diversity at Intel
All the major technology companies based in Silicon Valley are accused of gender inequality and other kinds of biases in hiring, and Intel is no different. The company’s data revealed that in 2013, about 25% of its employees were female, and minorities like Hispanics and African Americans comprised only 12% of the workforce.
James explained that by full representation, she means that the talent available within Intel’s workforce in the U.S. will be represented well. Also senior leadership positions will be represented in a more balanced manner. “When you’re recruiting a semiconductor engineer, for example, you have to look at the candidate pool, and then you have to look at men available, women available, minorities available, and out of that availability, you’re trying to get to the highest representation that you can get,” she said.
Intel faces a major problem of losing diverse candidates from engineering technology as early as middle school, especially women, states James. She says it will be difficult to get 50% representation because the pipeline “isn’t even big enough,”
Committed to the cause
This week at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Intel announced a new Diversity in Technology initiative, under which it discussed plans to make significant changes to its workforce along with giving more opportunities to women and minorities. By 2020, the chip maker plans to achieve full representation of women and under-represented minorities in its workforce.
Intel seeks to build a pipeline of under-represented engineers, computer scientists and females who did not get enough opportunities. An investment of $300 million has been pledged by the chip maker for the plans. Also the company will work to ensure that representation within the technology and gaming industry becomes more positive.