Intel was founded in 1968 by Bob Noyce and Gordon Moore (Intel Timeline). Intel has been a leader in the technology industry for decades—often being the first to industry with new innovations. In the same spirit, Intel is likely to be the first big technology company to achieve a truly diverse workplace culture. Intel has been making waves and gaining media attention over their grand plans to diversify their employees and there by their workplace culture. Intel is located in Silicon Valley which is often referred to as “a boy’s club”, with “major tech companies like Twitter and Google revealing demographics that skew toward white, male workers” (Alter, C., 2015). Intel’s focus on diversity will be a leading example to other technology companies and all other businesses around the world.
The technology industry is dominated by males (mainly white males)—especially in the “silicon valley”, which is where most of the big tech industry players are located. Still, there aren’t as many women beating down the door to get in. Danielle Brown, Intel’s chief diversity officer, says that “for technical women, the market availability is at about 27 or 28 percent of the workforce, so Intel plans to meet or exceed that number in its workforce” (Weisful). Of course there are also non-technical positions at Intel, to which Brown says, “the availability of women is close to 50/50, so Intel wants to be at that same level” (Weisful). They will be doing the same for other minorities as well, such as, African Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans.
Accessibility of diversity-related material
Intel’s website makes it easy to see their commitment to diversity. First, right on the landing page you see two women, one white and one Western European, as well as an African American male. Second, on the home page there is a direct link titled, “Our Commitment”, that takes you to their Corporate Social Responsibility page. This page is full of information about diversity (see Figure 1), as well as, other corporate social responsibility commitments. Finally, if you search the website for “Diversity”, you are bombarded with 392 matching results. The results page is full of official annual diversity program reports, announcements, and blogs all about Intel’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.
Figure 1: Diversity at Intel
Usefulness of the diversity information
Intel’s website is chocked full of useful information about diversity, including expectations for their suppliers. Intel not only hires a diverse workforce, they expect their suppliers to as well. This is called a Tier II supplier program, as discussed by Harvey and Allard in Understanding and Managing Diversity (2014, p. 332). Suppliers can find Intel’s expectations as well as the update scorecard and diversity survey needed to be submitted by the supplier. For customers and employees there are numerous blogs about all the outreach being done by the company and their commitment to evening out the playing field—giving everyone an equal chance to get ahead. Intel’s 2015 Annual Report is a transparent way to hold them accountable and keep employees and customers apprised of the progress. Below are the highlights of the report:
Ambitious Goals, Amazing Progress
- We exceeded our annual hiring goal, achieving 43.1% diverse hiring against a goal of 40%—up 1.8x hires over 2014.
- We increased hiring of underrepresented minorities by 31% to a total of 11.8% in 2015.
- We increased our hiring of women by nearly 43% to a total of 35% in 2015.
- We narrowed the gap in female representation, ending the year with a workforce that’s 24.8% women, a 5.4% increase over 2014 (2015 Annual Report, 2015).
In the results above, you see that Intel is focusing first on the primary dimensions of diversity. This is because primary dimensions are more evident and permanent. These dimensions are age, gender, race, mental and physical abilities, ethnicity, and sexual orientation (Harvey & Allard, 2014, p. 3). By focusing on these attributes, Intel is aiming to make a lasting change that will have a ripple effect into the coming generations. For example, Intel put the top ranking women and minority men in charge of overseeing the Diversity Program. By doing that, Intel expects to see better results, thereby, making a bigger, longer lasting change. Matt McCue of Fortune clarifies just how big of a change Intel is going for here:
The goal of the Diversity Fund goes beyond financial returns. Intel Capital, according to Lambert, hopes to flip the “pattern recognition” problem on its head. Instead of white guys hiring white guys, diverse executives will hire diverse teams. And then, as staff members from those teams leave to start their own companies, the diversity effect will snowball through Silicon Valley (McCue, M., 2015).
Supporting minorities based on the primary dimensions will, in effect, change some of the individual’s secondary dimensions. Secondary dimensions consist of geographic location, military and work experience, family status, income, religion, education, first language, organizational role and level, and communication and work style (Harvey & Allard, 2014, p. 3). Work experience, family status, income, organizational role and level, and even the communication and work style can all be improved by a job offer or promotion through Intel (or any successful business with good intentions to promote diversity and inclusion). Intel can reach distant geographic locations through their international locations. Intel is supporting numerous organizations that reach people at all ages and locations with early childhood programs like the “Black Girls Code” and post-college programs like the “Latino Startup Alliance” (McCorvey, J. J., 2015).
Appropriateness of the photographs and graphic material
Intel’s website is so well done that it strikes up emotions of joy and pride. Joy that there is a company that cares and pride that they are actually doing something about it and doing well. There are pictures all throughout the website representing a wide array of diverse people. The pictures are appropriate and well thought out. The placement of the photos with the blogs about diversity and links to even more information about diversity really drives home the point. Most of these photos depict young men and women of African American and Latino decent. The website also had information and photos of the staff in charge of the diversity program. The photos depicted women of different races and men of different races. Most were appearing to be in their 40’s and seem to have a high level status at work.
Perspectives vary based on the position of the person viewing the information. As a potential employee, based solely on viewing the website, I feel overwhelmingly encouraged to join the fight in promoting equality. I truly feel the passion Intel is exuding through their website and want to be a part of it. It’s especially looking good for women to join the company as they state their focus is first on hiring and promoting women (Zarya, 2015). As a potential customer, I feel a sense of pride in what Intel is doing and this promotes brand loyalty. I want to support Intel in their actions by purchasing their products and telling others about them. As a potential supplier or subcontractor, I would recognize the need to change my own way of doing business—recognizing that I cannot be a supplier or subcontractor unless I also prove my commitment to diversity and inclusion.
Internal management issues
Internal management can be a hindrance for progress. Progressive ideas are great, but only successful when top management is on board and willing to lead by example. If management keeps running business as usual, their direct reports (for example, VPs and Directors of each division) will do the same, and then their direct reports, and so on. Change starts from the top and that is the case with Intel. The CEO, Brian Krzanich, is leading the way and he said, “We are committed to reaching full representation of women and underrepresented minorities in our U.S. workforce by 2020” (2015 Annual Report, 2015).
Intel has received numerous awards which are clearly displayed on their website after you click to “Learn More” about Intel’s Diversity commitment. As Harvey and Allard discuss in the textbook, Understanding and Managing Diversity, the criteria and selection process is most evident in the Corporate Equality Index, a Human Rights Campaign Foundation, which ranks American businesses on LGBT equality (2014, p. 354). Following the link from Intel’s awards page, I was able to see their ranking on the Corporate Equality Index, and Intel had a score of 100, both in 2015 and 2016. There are 29 other awards listed for Diversity and Inclusions from sources like Forbes, Enterprise, LinkedIn, and many foundations supporting minorities’ development.
Intel is forging a path to a brighter future. Being a female, I understand many of the situations that Intel is attempting to improve. Someone who is female, a senior citizen, a racial minority, a person with a physical challenge, or of the LGBTQ community may have more of a challenge obtaining a career or their choosing. If I were a job applicant and I read an ad for job opening, for which I are fully qualified, at Intel I would most certainly apply. Just based off of their website, it is evident the level of commitment Intel has to promote and support minorities. Intel is a leader in the technology industry and is leading by example. CEO Brian Krzanich said, “It’s time to step up and do more. It’s not just good enough to say we value diversity and then have our workplaces and our industry not reflect the full availability and talent pool of women and underrepresented minorities” (McCorvey, J. J., 2015). Change starts at the top and Intel is making a difference.
Alter, C. (2015). Intel Pledges $300 Million to Increase Workforce Diversity. Time.Com, N.PAG.
2015 Annual Report. (2016). Retrieved June 19, 2016 from http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/diversity/diversity-in-technology-annual-report.html
Corporate Responsibility. (2016). Retrieved June 19, 2016 from http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/corporate-responsibility/corporate-responsibility.html
Harvey, C. P. & Allard, M. J. (2012). Understanding and managing diversity (6th ed.). Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson
Intel Timeline: A History of Innovation. (2016). Retrieved May 14, 2016 from http://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/history/historic-timeline.html
McCorvey, J. J. (2015). Can Intel solve tech’s diversity problem? Fast Company, (195), 29-32.
McCue, M. (2015). Intel’s $125 million plan to shake up white, male Silicon Valley. Fortune.Com, N.PAG.
Weisful, K. (2016, April 19). This is what happens when a big tech company gets serious about diversity. Retrieved May 10, 2016 from http://www.inc.com/kimberly-weisul/what-happens-when-a-big-tech-company-serious-diversity.html
Zarya, V. (2015). 35% of Intel’s 2015 hires have been women. Fortune.Com, N.PAG.