It has been acknowledged for some time that diversity and inclusion (D&I) is an issue in the tech sector, despite many leading companies pledging to make progress. Now, tech giant Intel has encouraged the industry to come together to address the sector’s shortcomings in this area.
In its annual Corporate Responsibility Report, Intel reflected on the progress it has made over the last ten years in areas such as D&I, and looked ahead to the next ten – concluding that meaningful change will require cooperation from the whole industry as well as external partners.
In the report, Intel says that it reached “full representation” in its US workforce for women and underrepresented minorities in 2018. This was two years ahead of schedule, but women still account for only 28 percent of the company’s global workforce.
It is also reported that the gap has been closed in average pay between employees of different genders in the same or similar roles.
Other data shows there is still work to be done, but it is encouraging to see that Intel has been transparent about pay disparity details. At the end of last year, the company released data showing that one in four white men at Intel are in the top salary tier. Meanwhile, less than 10 percent of black employees are in the top tier.
Speaking to ZDNet, Navin Shenoy, EVP and GM of the Intel Data Platforms Group, said that Intel was “one of the first, if not the first to just be radically transparent in publishing our pay across various gender groups and minorities. We all have to get comfortable putting ourselves out there a little bit, even if the data doesn’t look great today.”
Intel’s goal is for women to represent 40 percent of technical roles by 2030, and to double the number of women and underrepresented minorities in senior leadership roles.
More widely, Intel wants to work with the industry to implement a ‘Global Inclusion Index’. This would create a baseline understanding of what it means to employ women and minorities in senior and technical positions, and help the industry to identify the root causes of its lack of diversity.
Shenoy said: “We think transparency and measurement is really important in ensuring the technology industry raises the bar. There is no common definition or metric for defining, for example, women in technology positions. At Intel, we define that as a woman with a technology degree and in particular with a PhD. Other companies define that as women working in retail stores in a technology setting. Neither one is right or wrong, but it shows you there’s a big difference in how the industry defines what it actually means to have inclusion.
“Our peers in the industry are starting to recognize this is a real issue that’s not going to solve itself through incremental action.”