Intel's latest diversity report shows numbers at a standstill

No progress on Operation De-pale-and-male since 2014

Intel’s latest Diversity and Inclusion mid-year report shows that numbers of African American and Hispanic people have hardly changed, despite the company’s $300m pledge to achieve full representation by 2020.

Although the number of female workers have slowly been rising – especially for those in more senior roles – the same cannot be said for a group Intel calls "under-represented minorities".

The percentage of African American workers went up from December 2015 to June 2016 only 0.2 per cent, from 3.5 to 3.7 per cent. For Native Americans - the most under-represented minority - the figure was bumped up a mere 0.1 per cent, from 0.5 to 0.6 per cent.

But for Hispanics, the percentage dropped 0.4 per cent. In December 2014, the figure started at 8.3 per cent and rose a year later by 0.1 per cent, but in June it fell to 8 per cent.

Broken down by career levels, the number of under-represented minorities in senior roles has grown. The biggest jump seen from December 2014 to June 2016 was for leadership roles, which rose from 4.8 to 6.9 per cent.

During the same period, however, the overall percentage of under-represented minorities (12.3 per cent), remained unchanged.

Intel’s CEO, Brian Krzanich, announced the company’s Diversity in Technology Initiative in 2015. It made Chipzilla the first major technology company to aim for full representation of women and under-represented minorities by 2020 by investing $300m to hire and retain more employees.

“We’re calling on our industry to again make the seemingly impossible possible by making a commitment to real change and clarity in our goals,” said Krzanich. “Without a workforce that more closely mirrors the population, we are missing opportunities, including not understanding and designing for our own customers.”

But Intel’s latest figures show the company is far from its goals. According to CIA Fact Book, the American population is 12.85 per cent black, 4.43 per cent Asian, and Amerindian and Alaska native 0.97 per cent, and native Hawaiian and other Pacific islander 0.18 per cent.

The lack of diversity is an issue recognised by many major tech companies. In June, 30 companies, including Intel, GitHub and VMWare signed a Tech Inclusion Pledge, a commitment to the White House to publish diversity figures and implement goals to increase representation in their companies. ®

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