Over the past two weeks, sharp debate – and, tragically, even violence – over issues of race and gender has reminded us that there is still so much work to do to build a society that abhors prejudice and values love over hate and equal opportunity for all. While these events have been painful to see, I ask each of you to join me in turning this tragedy into action, letting it serve as a reminder of how important it is for each of us to treat others with respect and to contribute to a diverse and inclusive workplace every day.
So how can we drive change? We can dedicate ourselves to creating a space where everyone feels included and respected. Technology companies have talked about diversity for years, but the data show that progress has been slow. In 2015, I challenged our company to step up and do more. It is not enough to say that we value diversity; we must make actual, real progress. We set out to achieve by 2020 an inclusive workforce that reflects the diversity we see every day in the world around us. Doing this would bring the number of female, Hispanic, African-American and Native American employees in Intel’s 50,000-strong U.S. workforce to full representation. We called on other companies to join us in this pledge, with a focus on real actions and results.
MORE: Intel’s 2017 Diversity and Inclusion Midyear Report and the Road Ahead (Barbara Whye Editorial) | Intel’s 2017 Diversity and Inclusion Midyear Report (Intel.com) | Intel Global Diversity and Inclusion Website (Intel.com) | Intel Diversity in Technology Initiative (Press Kit)
Today, we released our midyear diversity and inclusion report. We have made progress as you’ll see in the numbers. The more meaningful progress is the extent to which each one of our employees feels that we have built a diverse environment at Intel where inclusion is valued and hate has no place.
To achieve this, we will continue to pledge our time and focus, our hard work and dedication, and $300 million to expand opportunities for women and minorities who are underrepresented in the workforce. We committed to work not through quotas, but instead through smarter, long-term strategies such as improving retention of employees from underrepresented groups; training every manager in the company in inclusive management and providing resources and tools to support them; having diverse teams interview and give input on performance; and building a stronger pipeline of female and underrepresented mathematicians, scientists, engineers and others. Most importantly, we have striven to do this without any group feeling unwanted or not included within Intel’s culture.
Constructive confrontation and debate are hallmarks of Intel’s culture, but there is no debate when it comes to our commitment to equal and fair treatment and opportunity for everyone, and to mutual respect as we discuss these issues. As I said two years ago when I announced our pledge, improving diversity and inclusion is right not simply because it is good for business and for our employees, but because it is simply the right thing to do. I want to thank all of those who have voiced their thoughts and concerns from all sides as we’ve been going through this journey together. No one person or group has all of the answers, and inclusion means we listen to all points of view.
At the halfway point in our five-year program, our 2017 midyear report makes clear that this dedication and hard work is paying off in important ways. We’ve made significant progress and have closed more than 65 percent of our gap to full representation, all while having a record 2016 for our business and being on target to have another record year in 2017. It also makes clear where we still have work to do. But this is critical work, and we must accelerate it, especially in the areas where we haven’t come as far as we would like. That’s why today we are announcing we are modifying our goal: Instead of 2020, we expect to achieve full representation in Intel’s workforce by 2018, two years earlier than our original goal.
This will not be easy. It will require the continued focus and hard work of every Intel employee. But Intel employees have been making the impossible possible for 50 years. With their support, I know we will do it again.
Brian Krzanich is the chief executive officer of Intel Corporation.