The lack of diversity in the technology industry has received a deluge of media attention in the past couple years. This has, for the most part, been hailed as a welcome occurrence but as in many other areas, the rise of traditionally discouraged voices has brought with it an opposite reaction from a segment of the white, male demographic that feels attacked, “at siege.”
Intel has been one of the biggest tech companies at the forefront of tackling diversity and improving opportunities for women, African-Americans, Hispanics and other under-represented groups. Indeed, it was only a year ago that the technology giant invested $300 million on a strategy that has resulted in a 30 percent increased in minorities in its workforce. That attention has been received a small, but fervent push back from tenured employees.
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich explained, “There’s been a bit of resistance. We’ve even had a few threats and things like that on some of our leadership team around our position on diversity and inclusion. People worry that as a white man, you’re kind of under siege… We remind everybody it’s not an exclusive process. We’re not bringing in women or African-Americans or Hispanics in exclusion to other people. We’re actually just trying to bring them in and be a part of the whole environment.” Over the past year, 43 percent of Intel’s new hires were women or minorities.
People worry that as a white man, you’re kind of under siege…Brian Krzanich
Intel’s good news regarding their diversity efforts comes on the back of bad news that the company is laying off 12,000 workers, a staggering workforce slash of 11 percent. That interplay between the two might lead to greater resistance to the continued progression of Intel’s diversity & inclusion policies. Intel’s next diversity report will include new employee pay data broken down by gender and race, which will provide better transparency on potential wage gaps.