Intel earmarks $300m for workplace diversity


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GrabberGobbels just managed to get Feminist Frequency more publicity than they’ve ever had.

The irony is absolutely delicious.


I had an MRA screaming at me yesterday about how this “isn’t about Gamergate.”

Just absolute, frothing dementia.

He actually used the word “wominorities” at me. I laughed.




At first glance I thought it said $300k. I was not impressed. This is a good thing, but I hope they spend the money creatively. Hiring goals alone are not enough, not unless something is done to address the climate in high schools and colleges.


In addition, Intel said it has established a $300 million fund to be used in the next three years to improve the diversity of the company’s work force, attract more women and minorities to the technology field and make the industry more hospitable to them once they get there. The money will be used to fund engineering scholarships and to support historically black colleges and universities.


They could spend $300 million in the first year just bringing the women and minorities already working there up to the same pay as the white men with similar qualifications and performance history.

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Who ever knew that diversity cost so much? That’s got to be quite encouraging to the smaller companies out there. I guess you’ve got to pay to play the diversity game.

I wonder if they are pushing for cognitive diversity, or just the boring old “what people look like” kind.

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but what are they going to do with the left over 310 million?

Do you have any pointer to studies in the tech industry to indicate that this is the case?

My reading has been that differential pay (in the tech industry) tends to be that women are under-represented in the more renumerative technically-intense jobs rather than paid less than their peers performing the same job with the same levels of experience.

Their under-representation is, of course, of concern, but is quite a different problem that should be addressed in a different fashion. As I said, I’d be very grateful to see the source study that underlies this claim. Thanks.


Not sure where you get that from. Looking at any gender pay gap chart that I can find sees the best one with woman making ~90% (in tech). So a senior engineer making 150K in Silicon Valley could easily have a woman counterpart making 135. Not sure about you, but I could find ways to spend that 15K.
I know that my little world is not the whole world, but I’ve never worked anywhere (information technology) that the ladies made as much as us men. I know that for a fact.


Yeah, it’s really boring for women and other minorities to be shut out time after time, and when they do get hired, to be continually ignored when they express original ideas and passed over for promotions. They really do find that so, so booooooring.


Just personal observation from forty-plus years in the business, including in the technical evaluation side of recruitment – and women, as the saying goes, have to be twice as good to get offers considerably lower. The story is slightly different for minorities, but don’t underestimate the effect on both women and minorities (both are heavily H1-B) of wage depression from being essentially indentured.

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sdmikev, of course the pay gap exists and it is significant. But if you assume the wrong reasons, then you can spend a lot of time and effort trying to solve the problem and producing no results. My experience has been that a lot of real solutions to problems don’t have a satisfying good guy/bad guy narratives, but instead address systemic realities that have been accepted as “that’s just the way things are” by all parties.

Anyway, the sources you’ve mentioned point out the pay gap, but again don’t address the causes. Breakdowns I’ve read (from a few years ago) indicated that the main problem was that women were not so much suffering from the “guy beside me doing the same job earns 10% more” (it accounted for 1-2% of the gap), but the women were less well represented in the the most rewarding jobs inside the same field.

i.e. the problem was that the hard-core DBA was being paid more than the lead of the DB section. Guess which one is male and which one is female?

Another is that women still bear the massive brunt of child-rearing. Long-term absences tend to be death in the highly technical fields that are the most lucrative.

And, of course, even outside of child-rearing, women perform most of the unpaid, socially-valuable work such as elder-care, community volunteering, household chores, etc., which means that they also tend to self-exclude from the renumerative jobs that have 60-80 hour weeks.

The one item that did lead to side-by-side pay gaps was women tended to be overly loyal to their employers. In many industries (and honestly, I can’t remember if tech was among them), you basically get significant raises only by leaving your current employer for one offering a lot more. Women tended not to search as actively for such offers (IIRC they employed less head-hunters while employed) and were less likely to accept such offers when tendered.

In sales-related jobs, there was a significantly higher gap, because raises only come as a result of negotiation and men quit a lot more often during such negotiations, giving them better bargaining power.

As such, it seems clear to me that if we’re more interested in addressing the problem than in finding villains, we need to look at why certain fields are more renumerative. If it is simply because shortage of supply has led to higher prices, then, for example, a large importation of tech workers can increase supply until workers in such technical fields are no longer to in short supply.

This has the advantage of making millions of workers lives significantly better (if a 10% pay raise is good, imagine what a 300% pay raise is like!) and significantly reducing pay gaps between men and women.


Women are a minority? When did this happen?

When original ideas are concerned, you don’t find people’s skin and genitals superficial compared to their thoughts? Good luck with that. There’s also the option of not working for hierarchical companies so that “promotion” is no longer a problem.

Actually, it’s all fields, other than construction - which makes sense since a journeyman is a journeyman.

Funny you should mention that, I have a friend who’s THE SQL dba at her company. They are a SQL shop. Her back up is their Oracle dba.
In her immediate group of peers in her group, she’s been the lowest paid for quite some time (that has recently been sort of corrected) - but the fact that she made less than the Oracle guy is even worse.
I know for a fact that my wife is paid less than other manger peers in her organization. She is most certainly well compensated, but it’s less.
I’ve been working in corporate America for 30 years. My experience is that women are paid less than men at every place I have ever worked peer to peer.
It is also my opinion that it is absolutely because of gender bias.


That’s the whole point. Companies have a serious tendency to discriminate based on skin and genitalia, shutting out people who are no less likely to have original ideas. Workplace diversity initiatives are an attempt to correct that bias.

That should be an option. Instead, minorities and women - who are treated as a minority - often find it all but mandated, because many companies won’t consider them. Are you really so callously indifferent that you don’t consider that worth correcting?


If our points agree, how does that make me callous?

What I was getting at it is that teaching people to accept others with different skin or genitalia is fine, but that it also misses the fundamental issue of respecting people generally and focusing upon people’s actions and thinking. The problem is not that some people are women or some people are black - it’s that these different categories aren’t part of the job or legitimate work environment in the first place. Supposing that being male and/or white is even part of one’s job description is likely at error in the first place.

So, instead of pushing for more such categories of people, why not push to recognize that those categories aren’t relevant in the first place? And as for cognitive diversity, most people have very similar perceptual and decision making faculties even if they do look diverse. It might also be a sound strategy to value people who think in many different ways.

No, they’ll probably keep on over-hiring high-functioning Aspergersers.

You want them to back off?


Interesting. My experience (and what I’ve read) has found little bias on the micro level (a woman doing a “man’s job” is paid like a man), but that “women’s jobs” are systematically undervalued. Hence the gap between doctor and nurse is far greater than the skill gap or service provided suggests. Among doctors, women are under-represented in the most renumerative branches (cardiology, neurosurgury, etc.) and over-represented in the least (GP).

Interesting. Had the offers she’d been receiving from other companies been equally bad, or is this a case of being overly loyal (or “paying for stability” as it’s occasionally known)? Anyway, it might well have been out-and-out discrimination. Certainly it sounds like it. But as I said, I often find people perpetuating a discriminatory system rather than consciously discriminating.

(I’ll admit, I’m usually not among the best paid for exactly this reason. I don’t expect to be paid as well as my peers since I’m unwilling to jump ship every few years.)

Well, it depends a lot on whose thoughts get a hearing. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in a meeting and a woman has brought up an extremely important point, only to be ignored. Shortly afterward, a man brings up the exact same point, and it changes the entire direction of the discussion.

I must admit that I haven’t been “that man” nearly as often as I should have, because at least that way I get to lead with “as Dianne pointed out …”