WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 8, 2015): This week, Intel announced a bold plan to invest $300 million in a new Diversity In Technology Initiative with the goal of diversifying employment within the tech industry. The Minority Media and Telecommunications Council applauds this unprecedented investment within the industry on the heels of a Rainbow PUSH-led drive last summer that led to the release of data confirming the lack of representation of African Americans, Hispanics, and women at all levels of employment in the top tech companies.
“Intel’s $300 million investment will be the booster shot the tech industry needs to create tech economic equality,” said MMTC President and CEO Kim Keenan. “We salute Rev. Jesse Jackson and the Rainbow PUSH Coalition’s Silicon Valley Project for bringing these diversity concerns to the forefront. Rainbow PUSH’s efforts serve as a major step toward achieving a world in which the tech industry looks like America. Intel’s CEO Brian Krzanich is to be commended for leading by example. This is what a gamechanger looks like.”
Calling this the “right time to make a bold statement,” Intel CEO Brian Krzanich stated, “We’re calling on our industry to again make the seemingly impossible possible by making a commitment to real change and clarity in our goals. Without a workforce that more closely mirrors the population, we are missing opportunities, including not understanding and designing for our own customers.”
MMTC is delighted that Intel has taken a defining step toward rectifying the staggering tech employment inequities. The company has announced that it plans to engage with several partners in the industry to support, enhance, or create new programs for this initiative, including the International Game Developers Association, the National Center for Women in Technology, the CyberSmile Foundation, and the Rainbow PUSH Coalition.
The Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce has projected that STEM-related (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) occupations will account for 8.6 million jobs by 2018, growing by 17 percent from 2008. However, as USA Today reported in October, diverse communities are getting left behind – nearly twice as many African Americans and Hispanics are graduating with tech degrees from top schools as are being hired by top tech companies. Numerous studies have shown that employment diversity at all levels of an organization are economically beneficial to any organization’s bottom line, thanks to increased creativity and innovation, lower turnover rates due to a more inclusive work environment, and a larger number of qualified candidates as a result of hiring from a wider job pool.
Intel’s investment is an impressive start in the right direction, and MMTC hopes other tech companies will follow its example.
The Minority Media and Telecommunications Council (MMTC) is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting and preserving equal opportunity and civil rights in the mass media, telecommunications and broadband industries, and closing the digital divide. MMTC is generally recognized as the nation’s leading advocate for minority advancement in communications.