Intel Doubles Its Employee Diversity In Just Six Months


Intel doubled the number of women and under-represented minorities in its workforce in the United States over the last six months, the chip maker revealed in its first-half yearly diversity report. The efforts follow the plan announced by the CEO Brian Krzanich to see full representation to minority groups by 2020.

Krzanich pleased with the efforts

Silicon Valley has been grappling with the issue of lack of women, African-Americans and Hispanics in the tech world for some time. Many tech firms are making an effort to develop programs to increase diversity, but the results so far have been far from satisfactory.

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On Wednesday, Intel published its first mid-year diversity report, giving a clear picture of the hiring made by the technology company. In the last six months, 43.3% of the employees hired by the chip maker in the U.S. were either female, African-American, Hispanic or Native American. This is a big improvement from last year, when it was just barely over 20%, said Krzanich

“I think we started this process thinking that the pipeline was empty and we’d have to start at the very beginning,” Krzanich noted. “But we were all pleasantly surprised that there’s actually a pretty good pipeline going.”

Intel reporting numbers honestly

Intel’s aim was to hire at least 40% of its workforce from the under-represented groups, the chip maker’s CEO said, adding that they are “pleased” with the efforts to date. The firm reported that among 1,669 hired since January, 222 were Hispanic, 1035 were women, 139 were African-American and nine were Native American. For technical jobs, it was 0.5% Native American, 8.0% Hispanic, 3.3% African-American and 19.4% female.

Despite the recent rise in the hiring of minorities, the overall workforce breakdown of the company did not change much. In 2014, Intel’s total workforce included 23.5% female, 3.4% African-Americans, 8.3% Hispanics and 0.5% Native Americans. In July 2015, the numbers were 24.1%, 3.5%. 8.3% and 0.5% for women, African-Americans, Hispanics and the Native Americans, respectively.

According to Laura Weidman Powers, the fact that Intel’s number for Hispanic and Native American are almost unchanged reflects that the chip maker is reporting the numbers honestly, even if it means that the company is not able to achieve its expectations. Powers is a co-founder of Code 2040, a non-profit that helps top Hispanic and African-American engineers to find jobs, says a report from USA Today.