Intel's big goal last year was to eliminate conflict minerals from its processors and supply chain, and this year it's putting some of its money into something completely different: diversity. During its keynote at the Consumer Electronics Show today, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said the company plans to spend $300 million over the course of the next five years to improve diversity. That goes for both the underrepresentation of women, as well as minorities in the technology industry, something that's become a hot-button topic as technology companies try to diversity their workplaces and increase the appeal of computer science courses.
From the rank and file, to executives too
As for why this is happening now, Krzanich cited issues faced in gaming and technology over the past year, alluding to Gamergate, which the company became embroiled in following an advertising snafu. At the time, the company said "Intel believes men and women should be treated the same. And, diversity is an integral part of our corporate strategy and vision with commitments to improve the diversity of our workforce." Today, Krzanich elaborated on that by saying Intel's own internal goal was to reach what he referred to as a "full representation in all levels" in its workforce by 2020. That not only includes its rank and file, but at the executive level as well.
Like many other technology companies, more than half of Intel's employees are white and male, something the industry as a whole is trying to change. Just two of its top 15 executives are female, while two of its 10 board directors are women. Krzanich said that the company was going to tie what it pays its executives to make sure its efforts change that, though did not go into specifics about how that might alter the executive structures it already has in place.