Diversity in Tech: Intel Shows Small Signs of Progress Six Months into #Parity2020 Pledge
This year at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Intel made a historic pledge to reach full representation of minorities in its company in the next five years, better known as #Parity2020.
On Wednesday, the computer chip maker released its latest diversity numbers, which showed promising signs in hiring but little overall change in the bottom line numbers.
Nevertheless, as one of the leaders in the charge for more diversity in Silicon Valley, Intel received praise from the Rev. Jesse Jackson, whose RainbowPUSH coalition has been pushing tech companies to find ways to tackle the diversity issue.
First, the stubborn bottom line: Intel's detailed report concedes that little has changed in its overall workforce numbers since its last one. At the end of 2014, women made up 23.5 percent of the total workforce, while Blacks were at 3.4 percent, Latinos at 8.3 percent, and Native Americans at 0.5 percent.
The latest report has women making up 24.1 percent, African-Americans at 3.5 percent, Latinos at 8.3 percent and Native Americans making up 0.5 percent of the workforce at the company.
But those numbers don't tell the whole story about the last six months at Intel since CEO Brian Krzanich took the stage at CES and called inclusion the No. 1 issue for Silicon Valley.
Since January, Intel has hired 1,669 people, and 1035 of them were women, 139 were African-American, 222 were Hispanic and nine were Native American. This puts the company over its short-term diversity goal: that at least 40 percent of new hires would be under-represented minorities or women.
According to USA Today, who spoke with Krzanich, Intel is happy with the modest progress it has shown since the Parity2020 pledge.
"We're actually very pleased with the progress we've made in the first six months," said Krzanich.
Especially because Intel's workforce is mostly technical jobs that require a lot of specialized training (85 percent, in fact), Kzranich thought the company would run into the so-called "diversity pipeline" issue -- that there would simply not be enough qualified applicants with underrepresented backgrounds to fill the demanding positions on offer -- much more than they actually did.
"I think we started this process thinking that the pipeline was empty and we'd have to start at the very beginning," he said. "But we were all pleasantly surprised that there's actually a pretty good pipeline going."
Kzranich added, "If you go to the right colleges, the pipeline is there. I won't say it's easy, but it's certainly something that can be done."
In comments released to Latin Post, Rev. Jesse Jackson praised Intel for meeting and surpassing its short-term goal, saying, "Today, Intel released the most transparent and comprehensive data report on the implementation of its diversity and inclusion initiative, and the data speaks for itself: women, African-Americans and Latinos comprise over 43 percent of its new hires since January 2015.
"Intel is well on its way to achieving its full representation goal by 2020, creating a big tent, taking creativity and underutilized markets out of the margins.
"There is no talent deficit but an opportunity deficit."
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