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Intel CEO Pledges $300 Million To Increase Diversity In The Tech Industry

The tech giant’s workforce is just 4% black. But that’s about to change.

Intel CEO Pledges $300 Million To Increase Diversity In The Tech Industry
[Photo: Flickr user Intel Free Press]

It’s no secret that there’s a diversity problem in the tech industry: just look at the dismal numbers at Apple, Facebook, Twitter, Google, and Yahoo. But instead of making excuses, Intel has announced a pledge of $300 million to increase diversity within the company and in the industry at large.

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The tech giant’s CEO Brian Krzanich announced the diversity mission during his keynote at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week. Intel’s workforce is currently 4% black, 8% Hispanic, and 76% male. Krzanich hopes “to reach full representation at all levels” of the company by 2020. According to the company, the plan would increase the population of women, blacks, Hispanics, and other groups by at least 14% during the next five years, if successful.

The excuse many tech companies use for their diversity problem is that there isn’t a large enough talent pool of women and minorities to choose from. But Intel is looking to counter that by using a large portion of the money to fund engineering scholarships and to support historically black colleges and universities.

A number of large tech companies released diversity stats this past summer, and the numbers were disappointing. Google reported that out of its 46,000 employees, just 2% are black. Yahoo revealed that a mere 1% of its 12,300 employees are black, and Apple, which has a major retail presence, reported its workforce is 7% black.

One driver of the diversity push was an outgrowth of 2014’s GamerGate controversy, in which male gamers were attacking female games because of their gender. “I have two daughters of my own coming up on college age,” Krzanich told the New York Times. “I want them to have a world that’s got equal opportunity for them.”

[via Ars Technica]

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