Krzanich vowed to invest $300 million in an effort to fund the hiring and retention of a more underrepresented minorities and women.
At the end of his keynote speech at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Tuesday night, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich made a shocking announcement.
Krzanich vowed to invest $300 million in an effort to fund the hiring and retention of a more underrepresented minorities and women, which are grossly misrepresented in the tech industry, and especially in Silicon Valley.
Silicon Valley has a largely unaddressed diversity problem. Generally companies are staffed by almost entirely white and Asian men, despite creating products that are geared to appeal to diverse users. In 2014, leading technology firms released figures that showed the underemployment of African-Americans and Hispanics. The two groups made up only 5% of the firms’ workplace, despite a 14% national population. By 2044, the US Census has predicted that white people will become a minority, which means that Latino and African-American sway is on the rise.
“I'm announcing our intention to lead by example,” Krzanich said. "I invite the entire tech industry to join us." Krzanich has guaranteed that his company would reach a full level of representation by 2020.
Intel hopes that the investment will help build a “pipeline of female and underrepresented engineers and computers scientists”, according to USA Today. Additionally, it will support the hiring of said groups, and will “fund programs to promote more positive representation of women and minorities in the technology and gaming industries”, USA Today said.
In wake of the recent GamerGate this past summer, where Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s suggestion that women should refrain from asking for raises or promotions, this is undoubtedly the first serious and most bold move by any tech company on the topic of diversity.
“I'm announcing our intention to lead by example,” Krzanich said. "I invite the entire tech industry to join us."
Krzanich has guaranteed that his company would reach a full level of representation by 2020. Currently, Intel’s workforce is made up white males by 45%.
This is a huge first step in the right direction of inclusion, something that Krzanich also mentioned. “It's time to step up and do more. It's not good enough to say we value diversity,” Krzanich said.
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