Last week, Intel released its 2022 Corporate Responsibility Report and its Diversity and Inclusion (D+I) data. Since 2015, when Intel made the $300 million commitment to D+I in tech, the data has been published in a separate report. This year, however, the team, under the leadership of Dawn Jones, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer and Vice President of Social Impact, decided to reintegrate the data to provide a comprehensive overview of the effort Intel is making as part of its Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) work. More importantly, the comprehensive view helps understand how D+I is interconnected with the challenges people face. In the past couple of years, from the pandemic to the great resignation from climate change and social inequality, it is clear how underrepresented groups such as women and people of color are disproportionally impacted. Although integrated into a more extensive report, the granularity of the D+I data remains intact. This year, Intel decided to go a step forward and share not just percentages, as it is custom for these reports, but raw data as well.
“We are looking at being transparent and holding ourselves accountable like we want our employees and the industry to hold us accountable. We’re taking this year to reassess and ensure that our Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) work is truly forward-thinking and will get us to a great place by 2030,” said Jones in a video interview. The reassessment comes from the challenges the past two years have put on people’s life. Leaving work to take care of loved ones during the pandemic, putting school on pause because remote learning was not possible or simply reassessing one’s priorities in life. All could potentially negatively impact the D+I goals most companies set for 2030. Jones also wants to ensure that the 2030 target remains aggressive enough considering the expansion Intel’s CEO, Pat Gelsinger, is pursuing.
The U.S. Census reported that the Multiracial population was measured at 33.8 million people in 2020, a 276% increase over 2010. To reflect this change, Intel added two new population categories, “2 or More” ethnicities and “Other,” which allows the semiconductor giant to more accurately depict the entirety of the company’s representation.
This past year, Intel recorded an increase in the total number of women as part of its US workforce, now representing 25.8%. However, while Intel saw absolute numbers grow, some categories, such as veterans and women in technical roles, decreased as a percentage. For example, the percentage of Intel employees who identify as veterans dropped slightly, from 7.3% in 2020 to 7.2% in 2021, yet the number of employees who identify as veterans increased by roughly 150. In addition, Intel’s global representation of technical women declined from 25.2% in 2020 to 24.3% in 2021. Still, more technical women—around 26,000—currently work at Intel, the most significant number since the company started reporting. That said, Intel is aware it must address the 0.9 percentage point decline in the relative representation of women in technical roles in order to achieve the 40% targeted increase by 2030. In this light, Intel adjusted its definition of technical roles to align with the industry and has set a goal to ensure hiring for entry-level technical roles is at least 30% women in 2022. To assure maximum impact, the leadership believes the whole company must make an effort, which is why Intel made this one of the companywide annual performance bonus goals.
In leadership roles, Intel surpassed its milestone goal of reaching 1,375 women in leadership roles in 2021, ending the year with 1,449 women in senior leadership roles across the globe. Although the absolute number of women leaders increased, the relative representation of women leaders decreased by 0.1 percentage points due to the company’s overall growth. However, the numbers increased from 7.6% to 7.8% when looking at underrepresented populations in senior leadership positions. This is an increase of 384 to 444 in absolute numbers.
In 2019, Intel made its pay data public, and announced achieving gender pay equity globally and race/ethnicity pay equity in the U.S. This means that Intel closed the gap in average pay between employees of different genders or races/ethnicity in the same or similar roles after accounting for legitimate business factors that can explain differences. The latest pay disclosures show that in the U.S., salaries for women trended at or slightly higher than men within the higher pay bands showing improvement from when the information was first released.
Intel’s legal and human resources teams work with third-party experts using proven statistical modeling techniques to monitor and advance global pay equity. The analysis includes base pay, bonuses, and stock grants. Individual employees identified as having a gap through this analysis receive appropriate adjustments.
The last change Intel implemented for 2021 was to add an Employee Inclusion Survey (EIS) created to develop a deeper understanding of how employees experience inclusion within the company, identify ways to improve it and, more importantly, identify the causes. The overarching sentiment towards Intel was positive among the 27,255 employees who took the survey. However, the data shows a different experience regarding employee demographics. For instance, while 90% of overall respondents said, “Intel provides a safe and inclusive workspace for people like me,” the specific demographic data show a more intricate story. Nighty-one percent of men globally and 85% of white employees in the U.S. agreed or strongly agreed with the statement, but the number drops to only 78% for Black/African American employees.
The impact of limited diversity in leadership roles was underlined by the statement, “There are visible role models like me at Intel.” Unfortunately, only 56% of Black or African American employees and 40% of Black or African American Women and 63% of Hispanic or Latinx women agreed or strongly agreed with the statement. To address the gap in role models. Intel doubled the number of executive inclusion advocates in 2021 and the company is on track to double them again in 2022. Intel also expanded the Talent Keepers program to support the progression and retention of Black/African American employees and educate their managers on what it means to manage different cultures and individual preferences.
I asked Jones what led to the decision to share raw numbers and she said: “So people understand the true work that has to be done. Sometimes when you put percentages out and don’t dig into the calculation of what this percentage really means, there is a loss of perception. I’m trying to get people as much information as possible to understand the work needed. But also to put out there that this is possible.”
Jones has been in the current role for a year and had to lead not just during a pandemic and a period of great social unrest but a time of significant change and growth for Intel. Her drive to double down on transparency and accountability is particularly commendable. The more transparent we are with assessing an organization’s D+I, the more effective the solutions can be. The more educated employees are, the more buy-in a company is likely to achieve in understanding that everyone has a role to play in improving inclusion and driving diversity.
Disclosure: The Heart of Tech is a research and consultancy firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this column. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this column.