back to article Intel hits target: 27% of staffers are female? Apparently that's 'full representation'

Intel has hit its target of "full representation" among staffers who toil stateside, and said the diversity push has resulted in a hike in the proportion of its employees who are female or minorities. When it comes to Chipzilla's "full representation" metric, this means achieving parity with "market availability" of skilled …

  1. Teiwaz

    well it would be

    if 46% were lizard-people.

  2. deadlockvictim

    How about this

    Article» The current diversity push began in 2015, when former Intel CEO Brian Krzanich chucked $300m at the problem, tying exec incentives to achieving specified goals.

    How about this for a wild idea: rather than giving overpaid executives more money in order to get them to hire more women, why not offer more money to female candidates instead?

    It's not especially fair, to be sure, but it might help to compensate the women against the rather female-unfriendly work environments that seem to exist in the IT-world.

    1. dwieske

      Re: How about this

      ah the "the rather female-unfriendly work environments that seem to exist in the IT-world." which seems to be like sasquatch as I've also heard of sasquatch for over 20 years but never encountered one....the answer to discrimination is never different discrimination.

    2. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: How about this

      @ deadlockvictim

      "How about this for a wild idea: rather than giving overpaid executives more money in order to get them to hire more women, why not offer more money to female candidates instead?"

      Because legally that would be discrimination instead of the made up fantasy to complain about. We already have equal pay which is why there is a requirement to misrepresent it when arguing a pay gap.

      "It's not especially fair, to be sure, but it might help to compensate the women against the rather female-unfriendly work environments that seem to exist in the IT-world."

      Big swinging hairy ones.

    3. Jamtea

      Re: How about this

      "How about this for a wild idea: rather than giving overpaid executives more money in order to get them to hire more women, why not offer more money to female candidates instead?

      It's not especially fair, to be sure, but it might help to compensate the women against the rather female-unfriendly work environments that seem to exist in the IT-world."

      How do people write this kind of drivel, thinking that it's anything other than creating a problem in and of itself?

      You do realise that women are not a monolith. They're not a team trying to score more points than "Team Men". Arbitrarily paying women more because of their biology is wrong in almost every conceivable metric, from the immorality of doing so right down to the actual business practice of paying them more for no actual reason.

      Only a moron would actually think such an awful idea has any merit whatsoever.

  3. Flak

    Equal opportunity, encouragement and non-discrimination, not quotas please...

    The fact that - today - there are still more men than women working in tech and more women than men working in, say, primary schools is something that will take a generation or two to work through. Why?Because career opportunities, interests and qualifications are generally a direct result of (high) school education, tertiary education and vocational training, as well as guidance from parents and education staff.

    Having children who have gone / are going through high school in the UK right now, I can see good encouragement at school for female pupils to choose STEM subjects and consider further/higher education in the same area - something that was rare even just 20 years ago. This will help address the proportion of potential female candidates for STEM roles over time.

    Targets for a higher proportion of female staff in roles that are still disproportionately occupied by men (and vice versa) are good, if they drive behaviours through the 'supply chain' of education, training and recruitment. Having recruited in the technology space many times over the last 20 years, the simple fact today is still that I see a much greater number of male candidates applying for positions than female candidates. I am sure this is not an isolated experience. That is what makes quotas difficult and I can understand Intel's thinking that they have 'arrived' at achieving gender balance - looking a their staff demographics as a proportional sub-set of the general population, rather than a 50% quota.

    The same goes for any other disproportionate under or over-representation of staff based on ethnic background or any other attribute one may choose to examine. Checking a large (needs to be statistically relevant) organisation's staff population against certain criteria may help identify and counteract personal or organisational bias, which is to be commended.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Equal opportunity, encouragement and non-discrimination, not quotas please...

      I do agree mostly. Quotas are never a good idea unless it's only a "target". The best person for the job should be the criteria. Here in the States, we've had the "quota" thing for decades for various "minorities". Did they work? Not completely. Many times it boiled down to getting the quota rather than the best person for the position.

      There has to be a better way but damned if I know what it is. Apparently, companies don't know either.

    2. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: Equal opportunity, encouragement and non-discrimination, not quotas please...

      But if you go back 60+ years ago, the vast majority of people in IT, at least on the software side, were women, and they went through the education system about 75+ years ago, which was not an era of female enlightenment.

      Another thing, look at Iran, definitely not the first country that comes to mind when looking for an example of a feminist utopia, they do much better than us in getting women into STEM subjects.

  4. Zog_but_not_the_first

    Struggling to understand...

    Remove barriers, remove impediments, encourage etc., so that anyone who wishes to participate in any activity (job, sport etc., etc.) can, but what's the reasoning behind a group being represented in line with their abundance in the general population?

  5. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge


    Assuming Intel started out with the typical male/female ratio of a technical company to achieve this level of equality it can't have been hiring all the new positions with a completely blind process - otherwise it would have 0.9 * (1990 tech company ratio) + 0.1 * (typical 2018 silicon valley).

    The only way it has suddenly got to (typical 2018 silicon valley) ratio is if almost all the hires for the last few years have been women only or if it has been removing the predominately male older expensive employees.

  6. Starace

    And the non-technical roles?

    Want to bet that in other 'professional' jobs in Intel that the proportions are skewed in a different direction? I'd bet that (for example) HR has a high proportion of females vs males.

    So why the narrowly defined techie target?

  7. J27

    Complaining About Cause Instead of Effect

    All of these stories about employment percentages are totally missing the forest for the trees. You can't hire people who don't exist, or hire based on demographics without taking skills into effect. In the tech industry we're generally talking about highly-skilled positions and if less than 20% of the applicants for a job are female (this is approximate based solely on the company I personally work for), you're not going to end up with many female technical hires.

    The idea that it's prejudice creating this sort of gender imbalance is missing the point entirely. Look at the enrollment statistics are universities, look at the number of people with technical experience on job sites. In western countries, women rarely pursue technical careers and that's the main problem. Our culture says that tech jobs are for men. Prejudice is definitely a serious issue, but it's not the main issue. That's what we need to work on, because jumping all over the effect and totally ignoring the cause is totally pointless.

    Anecdotally, the company I work for is more than 40% female because the overwhelming number of our PMs and support people are female, for similar reasons as to why most of our developers are male. That's who applied and had the skills we were looking for.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Complaining About Cause Instead of Effect

      A lot can be done by industry to change this concept though.

      Yes it is annoying to anyone who understands statistics to be told that they must make their math/physics dept 50/50% by next year or they are little better than child abusers. But it isn't fair for industry to entirely wash their hands and say "no women applicants - not our fault"

      Here in Canada the resource industry has done a LOT of work to encourage women in science and engineering from school onwards. So much that when you go to many mine sites the majority of students/interns and new graduates are women.

      Even the blue-collar jobs are done by women. 300 tonne haul trucks have power steering, you don't need rippling arm muscles to drive them and I have been told by a few managers that they prefer hiring women - they are more likely to turn up on time and sober on monday morning than the average guy in the oil sands.

      It is going to take another generation for 11 year old girls to filter through to PhDs, and for it to become cool for a teenage girl to want to be a programmer but everytime you get a chance to talk to a school group or if you have kids - bear it in mind. And stop worrying about all the SJWs who couldn't program arguing about sexist symantics.

      1. Juillen 1

        Re: Complaining About Cause Instead of Effect

        Plenty of girls take up PhDs. Though they're very rarely in Computing Tech (which is what this is all about). They tend to dominate in the biological sciences, and avoid engineering.

        As long as there is encouragement in whatever field people want to enter, all's good. And also as long as people aren't forced into areas that aren't their strength or preference to fill a quota all's good.

        In pure choice societies (Sweden, for example), women tend to prefer the more traditional roles, as do men. This goes dead against what the Social Science theories that have gained traction said would happen.

        I'd say I'd be quite happy if people ensured that there was no restriction from entry to a field; that's what getting the best people for the job allows. Forcing people into roles "because numbers" is bad. And discriminating against a huge sector of the population "Because there are already lots of them at a place" is also bad.

  8. James 47

    Hmm, that times up nicely with the resurgence of AMD

  9. David Pearce

    There are far more female than male engineering graduates in Malaysia these days. Even outdoor jobs in civil engineering have many. The reason is that the government gives scholarships in engineering and the girls are better at passing the entrance exams.

    1. TheMeerkat Bronze badge

      No. The reason is that Malaysian employers favour men, so for women to achieve a decent position she has to chose a job where it is more obvious who has the knowledge and who does not.

  10. SimonC
    Paris Hilton

    Excellent, I wonder how their ginger hair quotas are doing, we need 25/25/25/25 representation by hair colour (black, brown, blonde, ginger) and also height quotas, 50/50 for those born below 5'6" 1/2.

    I'm sure people won't look at the extra 6% as Quota Women who were hired to fill the gap and are less qualified than the best candidates for the job, no sir. Were I a woman I'm sure I'd get lots of respect joining a company that has a goal of hiring women over hiring those who are best qualified.

    Paris because she reminds me of a woman I heard saying the other day that she *loves* all this diversity stuff, because she's highly capable and motivated and it lets her fly under the radar and scoop up all the opportunities, while pretending to be innocent and clueless.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      At least in academia (alleged) positive discrimination has had two discriminatory effects.

      There are a lot more women being hired for new junior roles by departments desperate to look good to funding bodies / reverse centuries of unfairness (delete as applicable). Senior roles of course go to other senior people where the candidates are almost all men.

      The best male new PhD are still getting jobs at the most elite labs but a large cohort of "average"

      women candidates are finding a lot less competition for jobs, especially at less prestigious institutes.

      This is having two effects, the publication/citation score is diverging for male/female authors. To a first approximation new tenure track men are selected from top 10% while average new female tenure track are 'average'. There is also a bias (at least in physics) that men tend to go for the sexy/high-risk/Nobel worthy areas while women are more represented in more applied, likely to get useful results, but less press-worthy fields.

      The other irony is that the average salary for male/female graduates, and more so for PhDs is becoming less equal. All the average male physicists (like me) are leaving academia after PhDs to get very highly paid jobs in industry/finance, while more women are getting relatively lowly paid post-docs/junior staff posts in academia.

      Note: This is a my very UK/USA view. In most of Europe my branch of physics was traditionally the girly science option. Probably because in the C19 it involved sitting indoors doing tedious calculations by hand rather than doing dangerous laboratory stuff. The result is that depts in Italy/Spain are mostly female even at professor level.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "...also height quotas, 50/50 for those born below 5'6" 1/2."

      I was born below 5' 6'' 1/2''... I'm 6' now though.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Now they just need to stop those women leaving ....

    and that from my experience in Intel is the bigger problem.

    I once pointed out to my Manager, that, 8 out of the last 9 people who worked for him, that had left, were women; & only about 1 in 6 of his staff were women to begin with !

    Needless to say, he hadn't noticed, & of course, the leaving interviews were worse than useless, because no-one likes burning bridges; so the reasons they were telling him they were leaving, & the reasons they told people like me they were leaving, were radically different.

    Women seem to have strange ideas, about being able to leave before 6PM, & not working all kinds of other crappy hours over weekends & holidays.

    Intel's attitude towards women in the workplace was best exemplified by an Andy Grove quote, you probably won't find on his wiki. He was responding to requests to provide creche facilities on campus.

    'Intel makes chips, not babies !'

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