- Intel published its 2017 Mid-Year Diversity and Inclusion Report, which shows modest gains in key areas; underrepresented minority (URM) exits dropped 9.7% since 2016, female retention rose from 25.7% in 2016 to 26%, underrepresentation of African Americans in tech jobs accounted for 60% of the remaining diversity hiring goal and overall URM hiring rose slightly from 12.5% in 2016 to 12.6%.
- Barbara Whye, Intel’s new chief diversity and inclusion officer, said in a statement that Intel's gap in hiring women and underrepresented minorities in the U.S. decreased from 2,300 workers in 2014 to 800 in 2017, an improvement of 65%.
- The report follows Intel CEO Brian Krzanich's decision to step down from an advisory role in President Donald Trump's Manufacturing Jobs Initiative. Krzanich has since called for full diversity hiring of women and URM by the end of 2018, two years sooner than the company's original goal.
Tech companies are anxious to deliver fast results in the drive for a more diverse workforce. Perhaps the most high-profile example of this trend has taken place at Apple, where debate between executives has underscored the company's claim that it has closed the gender pay gap.
Intel's report is encouraging for diversity advocates, but the consensus is that tech has a long road ahead in this regard. Other firms, like Uber, have undergone cultural overhauls and hired new CHROs to raise diversity metrics. Generally speaking, these are good-faith efforts on the part of tech companies to hold themselves accountable for results.
But dissent in Silicon Valley in response to diversity initiatives is also a growing problem, as evidenced by the James Damore incident at Google. What happens when employees feel, rightly or wrongly, that their perspective on the issue is vilified? This is isn't a question that can be easily dismissed: HR leaders' next moves could come to define workplace management in the near future.
Even so, proven strategies for diversity hiring do exist. Consider that establishing pipelines of women, nonwhites and other underrepresented groups creates talent pools from which recruiters can consistently attract and hire candidates. Training and development programs, meanwhile, increase employee engagement and decrease turnover.
Setting hiring and retention goals is necessary for baseline measures, but recruiting women and members of underrepresented groups should be an ongoing process.