Intel has more women in tech than ever before, but the percentage is still low

Intel’s new diversity and inclusion numbers, released Thursday, show the company will need to make some adjustments to keep percentages of underrepresented groups in the industry high.

The proportion of women in technical roles decreased from 25.2% to 24.3% between 2020 and 2021. It’s not the direction the company is hoping for given the goal it set in 2020 to get women into 40% of technical roles by 2030. Tech giants like Google (Google) have struggled ( 25.7%), Facebook (24.8%), Apple (24.4%) and others have long since reached 30% of women in tech roles.

But according to Don Jones, head of diversity and inclusion, the chip is prompting Intel to examine the cause of this decline. For the first time since Intel began releasing numbers in 2015, the company has included the raw numbers of women in its workforce. There are 26,000 women in technical positions at Intel, the largest percentage in the company’s history. She said that after a period of intense hiring last year, the percentage had taken a hit.

“We have to look at this hiring group with greater intent,” Jones said. “Is it that we don’t get the CVs? Is it that we don’t get the attention? And if we don’t get the attention, why? These are the questions we ask. Are [it] the culture? Is it a question of flexibility? Is it a site issue? ”

The company is also setting a goal of making sure that hiring women in tech positions reaches at least 30% in 2022, and tying it to annual performance bonuses, a move Intel has used in the past to try to spur diversity.

The Intel Diversity and Inclusion numbers are part of the larger annual Corporate Responsibility Report, which covers additional topics such as company sustainability and education efforts. For example, Intel is committed to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2040. It is also allocating $100 million in the next decade toward research and education partnerships related to semiconductor manufacturing.

Many big-name tech companies like Google and Facebook started publishing various numbers around 2014 as the industry began to face scrutiny over its demographic makeup. Reports confirmed what was already clear – the technology is mostly white and male.

Since 2015, Intel has been a rarity in public commitment to goals related to diversity and inclusion. In 2018, it reached its goal of reaching full representation of women and minorities in its US workforce (compared to the broader US technology industry) two years ahead of schedule. In 2019, the company said it closed the pay gap.

In 2020, Intel set new goals, including placing women in 40% of technical roles by 2030 and doubling the number of women and underrepresented minorities in top positions in the same time frame.

Overall, the number of women at Intel decreased from 26.3% in 2020 to 25.8%. Intel is 44.1% white, down from 45.8% a year earlier. Many underrepresented minority groups experienced losses—Hispanic employees decreased from 10.5% to 9.3%; The number of black employees decreased from 5% to 4.9%; The number of Asian employees also decreased from 37.6% to 36.3%. The percentage of Pacific Islanders held steady at 0.4%, and Native American employees had some strength at 0.9%, up from 0.8%.

Jones already noted the addition of two new population categories, giving people the ability to identify “the other two races” or “the ethnicity or more,” which may have contributed to the differences in racial and ethnic breakdowns.

Intel also hit a new high in terms of the number of women in leadership positions, with a total of 1,449, but again, the proportion still drops slightly from 18.8% to 18.7%.

In terms of wages, women in the United States earn the same amount or slightly more than their male counterparts at Intel.

Jones also spoke about how Intel is trying to respond to the broader moment – a combination of the coronavirus pandemic, which reports say has stifled women’s jobs and the Great Resignation. In March, 4.5 million people quit their jobs.

As people leave their jobs in search of better opportunities, Jones said Intel is paying attention to why. Intel, for example, hopes that embracing mixed workplaces will help bring more women and underrepresented minorities into the fold. Initiatives such as the Return Program, which aims to bring back women who have left the workforce for a while, are also likely to help.

“Money is a factor, but it’s generally not the only or even the driving factor,” Jones said. It’s ‘I don’t feel appreciated and I don’t get paid. So, let me go find a place that gives me all these things. ”

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