Some foes of Intel’s diversity push were gleeful on Tuesday afternoon when the company announced that it had 12,000 layoffs coming. Critics posted on Twitter and Reddit threads with comments such as “don’t forget the cash for the diversity program.”
But the world’s biggest chip maker said after it announced the layoffs (which will result in a $1.2 billion write-off) that it is not backing off on its commitment to diversity. Intel CEO Brian Krzanich has instituted major overhauls to Intel’s hiring and promotion plan in an effort to make the company workplace more diverse. And Intel has hit those goals, according to a recent progress report.
“Diversity and inclusion are integral to how we operate, and we’re not changing our commitment to our diversity goals,” said William Moss, a company spokesman, in response to a query from VentureBeat. “We intend to continue to share our results, progress and learnings publicly in our upcoming Diversity in Technology: Mid-year Inclusion Report.”
Back in February, Intel released a lot of data in its global diversity and inclusion report, building on its earlier report that 43 percent of the company’s new hires in the past year have been women and underrepresented minorities (Asian men are overrepresented).
Intel’s goal was that 40 percent of new hires be diverse candidates, and the company said it hit its overall hiring and retention goals for 2015. By releasing more data, Intel hopes to lead by example, as it makes its U.S. workforce more diverse by 2020.
Of course, the company may not achieve its goals exactly as planned. It’s now possible that Intel may achieve more diverse percentages through layoffs, rather than through hiring.
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