Chip-making giant Intel doubled the number of women and under-represented minorities it hired in the United States over the past six months, after its CEO announced a plan to reach full representation of those groups by 2020.
Intel on Wednesday published its first mid-year diversity report, offering one of the most detailed looks available from a technology company of its hiring.
The lack of women, African Americans and Hispanics in tech has been an issue of growing concern in Silicon Valley. Many big tech companies have instituted programs to diversify their workforce, but progress has been modest.
Over the past six months, 43.3% of the people Intel hired in the United States were either female, African American, Hispanic or Native American.
That’s in contrast to a year ago, when roughly 20% of Intel’s hires were from one of those groups, said CEO Brian Krzanich.
One thing that surprised staffers he said, was that the number of people with the necessary education — the much-discussed “pipeline” issue — wasn’t as big a problem as they had feared.
“I think we started this process thinking that the pipeline was empty and we’d have to start at the very beginning,” said Krzanich. “But we were all pleasantly surprised that there’s actually a pretty good pipeline going.”
Recruiters found that “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,” Krzanich said.
That fits with USA TODAY research published last year that found there were twice the number of under-represented graduates in technical fields than were hired by tech companies.
Intel found technical programs at colleges and universities with large populations of women, African Americans and Hispanics, Krzanich said.
The company also sent recruiters who were in the same groups they were trying to hire. Students “want to talk to people who understand what it’s like to be at Intel as a woman, as an African American,” said Krzanich.
The hiring period was roughly January to July, 2015.
The company’s goal was that 40% of new hires would be women or under-represented minorities, so “we’re actually very pleased with the progress we’ve made in the first six months,” Krzanich said.
Of the 2,944 people the company hired since January, 1,035 were women, 139 were African American, 222 were Hispanic and nine were Native American, Intel reported.
Breaking out the workers in technical jobs (which encompass 85% of the workforce), the numbers were 19.4% female, 3.3% African American, 8.0% Hispanic and 0.5% Native American.
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SOURCE: USA Today – Elizabeth Weise