Intel Pledges $300M To Boost Workplace Diversity

Workplace diversity has become a hot topic in the tech industry, with companies like MicrosoftTwitter, and Facebook all admitting the need to do a better job. Go ahead and clump Intel into that category. Intel said it's making a concerted effort to take advantage of the available talent that's out there and to diversify its work force.

Intel's mission is a five-year plan in which it vows to do a better job of plucking women and minorities out of the talent pool. Should Intel ultimately reach its goal, the number of women, blacks, Hispanics, and other groups in its work force would increase by 14 percent, The New York Times reports.

Intel Interns
A pair of interns at Intel meet to discuss Remote Monitor. Image Source: Flickr (Intel Free Press)

Putting its money where it's mouth is, Intel has put together a fund of $300 million that it plans to spend in the next three years on diversifying its work force. That not only includes hiring more qualified women and minorities, but also in creating a comfortable and hospitable environment. Part of the fund will also go towards engineering scholarships.

Intel chief Brian Krzanich told NYT in a phone interview that now is the "right time to make a bold statement," and he's right. Technology firms have been criticized lately for the lack of diversity. A look at the demographics of big technology companies usually reveals a lopsided trend in favor of white males, especially in managerial positions.

Part of the challenge is finding qualified talent. Intel's chief diversity officer, Rosalind Hudnell, points out that only 18 percent of undergraduate engineering degrees go to women. Nevertheless, Intel feels it can do more to even out its work force while still bringing in qualified candidates.