Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said the company is making a push to diversify its workforce, but this has resulted in unspecified “threats” against the company’s executives by their own employees, says TechCrunch.
On Friday at a conference in San Francisco, Krzanich said, “People worry that as a white man, you’re kind of under siege to a certain extent.”
Intel facing resistance from employees
“There’s been a bit of resistance. We’ve even had a few threats and things like that on some of our leadership team around our position on diversity and inclusion,” the CEO said, adding that the company stands for its decision and wants to remind people that it is not an exclusive process.
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“We’re not bringing in women or African-Americans or Hispanics in exclusion to other people. We’re actually just trying to bring them in and be a part of the whole environment,” Krzanich clarified.
On Friday, Krzanich also shared the company’s plan to report employee pay, broken down by gender and race, so as to find disparities in need of a fix.
Just like other tech companies, Intel’s workforce is overwhelmingly male and the Hispanic and African-Americans are dramatically underrepresented. Intel was a pioneer at reporting diversity figures but has not been able to do much about changing it until 15 months ago, when it announced a $300 million diversity initiative.
In February, the chip maker released its workforce diversity report, noting modest changes in the employee makeup in the first year of the program. According to the report, women make up 24.8% of Intel’s workforce, while African-Americans, Native Americans and Hispanics constitute just 12.4%.
Diversity initiative to remain unaffected by job cuts
Intel will begin job cuts this week, affecting 11% of all its workers or 12,000 jobs, it confirmed last week. The layoffs are part of its massive restructuring designed to re-engineer it for the long-term decline in the PC market with a shift in focus to growth in data centers and smart, connected devices. Speaking to VentureBeat, the chip maker confirmed that the job cuts will have no effect on its diversity initiative.
It said, “Diversity and inclusion are integral to how we operate, and we’re not changing our commitment to our diversity goals.”
The Oregonian/OregonLive obtained a note Intel issued to its employees following the layoff announcement. In the note, the chip maker said it won’t give “special treatment” to any group in determining who loses their jobs.