Intel is taking a praiseworthy step towards hiring more women, minorities or veterans by giving a double referral bonus to employees who refer new hires in these categories. An amount of $4,000, which is nearly double the present referral bonus, will be given to the employees whose referral converts into recruitment of minority groups, says a report from Oregonlive, citing a note sent to employees on Tuesday.

Intel Corporation Doubles Referral Bonus To Promote Diversity

Intel making efforts to push diversity

In the Tuesday note, Intel informed employees that they would always welcome their “brilliant friends” and acquaintances from all the sectors, so the usual ERP [employee referral program] bonus program will continue. “But we also recognize that we need to evolve to keep Intel competitive in the global marketplace and representative of our consumers and communities.”

In January, at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Intel CEO Brian Krzanich promised to enhance diversity both within Intel as well as across the tech industry, and committed $300 million for the initiative. With such efforts, Krzanich hopes to increase female and minority workforce by a minimum of 14% by 2020. A portion of the amount committed by Intel is allocated for historically black universities and engineering scholarships.

Intel’s diversity numbers are not very different from other tech firms, but with such decisions, it is making efforts to narrow the gap. The chip maker has a 75% male work force, while 4% of the workers are black and 8% are Hispanic.

Intel moving in right direction

For now it seems the tech giant is moving in the right direction. The Oregonian says in the first-quarter of 2015, 17% of the senior executive hired were from minorities, 33% were women, while 41% of the total recruitment so far this year is from an “underrepresented group.” However, the chip maker needs to do a lot more to hit its goal of “full representation” of women and minorities across the company.

Rev. Jesse Jackson, an activist who fights for racial and gender diversity, has played an important role in making tech firms aware of the issue. Currently, Silicon Valley tech firms including Apple, Google, etc. are all facing sharp criticism and scrutiny for their lack of employee diversity.

Intel is Oregon’s biggest private employer, and has been known for giving priority to veterans in hiring. Recently, the chip maker laid off around 1000 US workers, but expects overall employment globally to remain flat at 106,000 this year.