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Intel beat its diversity goals, but there’s still much more to do

Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Intel released its second Diversity and Inclusion Report today, and with it comes hard stats about how much progress the company’s made to diversify its workforce. The good news: Intel aimed to have 40 percent of its 2015 hires be either women or minorities, and it surpassed that goal. Forty-three percent of its newest hires represent more diverse groups. Underrepresented minorities accounted for 11.8 percent of those hires. (Asian men are an overrepresented minority, for example.)

Also good news is that the hiring of women increased by nearly 43 percent (1,700 women were brought onboard). Intel also says that it compensates those women fairly and reports a 100 percent pay parity for men and women.

Intel reports a 100 percent pay parity for men and women

But even with these gains, the company has a ways to go. Women account for less than a quarter of Intel’s workforce, and fill only 20 percent of the technical roles. Conversely, on the non-technical side, they account for 50 percent of the workforce. Only 3.5 percent of its employees identify as black; 53 percent of the company is white.

Intel hasn't hidden its diversity ambitions. At CES this year, the company not only announced a partnership with Vox Media — The Verge’s parent company — to help combat online harassment, but also that it would be investing $300 million to improve its diversity over the next five years. With that in mind, the company paired its report with goals for the new year. It hopes to reach 45 percent diverse hiring in the US and have 14 percent of those hires be underrepresented minorities. It also hopes to retain its new hires, which has been a struggle. Black workers are leaving at a faster rate than their colleagues, and Intel doesn’t have an explanation as to why that is. But the company is sticking with its diversity goals and initiative.

Intel hasn't hidden its diversity ambitions

Danielle Brown, Intel’s chief diversity officer, wrote in an accompanying letter that the company is resolute in its belief that "diversity and inclusion are key to Intel’s evolution and driving forces for our continued relevancy and growth as a company."

It’s no news that the tech industry struggles with diversity and bringing women into leadership and technical positions. Compared to other tech companies, Intel is still behind in several ways. Only 24 percent of its workforce are women, whereas women account for 32 percent of Facebook’s employees. Thirty-one percent of Apple’s employees are females. Apple also has higher rates of racial diversity. Eight percent of its employees are black, as compared to Intel’s 3 percent. But among its peers, Intel is both much more transparent and much more vocal about the specific diversity goals it’s trying to hit. Even if it’s currently lagging behind many of those peers, the company is at least holding itself accountable to specific targets.