The chip giant is making progress on adding women and underrepresented minorities.

By Valentina Zarya
August 12, 2015

If you’re a woman considering a job at Intel, your chances are suddenly looking a lot better.

Intel released its first mid-year Diversity in Technology Report today, detailing the progress the company’s made toward its 2020 goals for increasing the number of women and underrepresented minorities in its workforce. The chip giant reports that 43% of its 2015 hires have broken the white-male mold: 35% were women, 7.5% were Hispanic and 4.7% were African American. As a comparison, roughly 20% of the company’s 2014 hires fell into these categories, according to USA Today.

Roz Hudnell, Intel’s chief diversity officer, tells Fortune that the company is putting particular emphasis on getting more women into top leadership jobs. “The more role models we create at the top, the more pull it creates down below,” she says.

According to the report, the number of women in leadership roles increased from 51 to 68 since December 2014. Included in the “leadership” category are all employees at or above the level of VP, as well as Fellows and Senior Fellows (who represent top technical talent at the company, though not necessarily managerial leadership).

Gender Representation in Leadership, Diversity in Technology Report Addendum

Intel 2015 Mid-Year Diversity in Technology Report

The addition of 17 women to the leadership team represents a 33% increase. That number is a result of “a combined effort of hiring and internal progression and promotion,” says Hudnell. Of those 17 women, 12 were promoted internally, as part of the firm’s commitment to developing its in-house female talent, explains Hudnell. The five women that were hired externally came from intentionally diverse slates of candidates, as Intel uses a version of the Rooney Rule.

Next on the company’s priority list is the “senior” level, jobs one step below leadership. “We started at the top and are cascading that down towards the organization,” she Hudnell. Intel has seen an 11% increase in the number of women at this level since the end of 2014.

Intel 2015 Mid-Year Diversity in Technology Report

Intel 2015 Mid-Year Diversity in Technology Report

“[Intel] deserves a lot of credit, but there’s still a long way to go,” says Lucy Sanders, the CEO and cofounder of the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), a nonprofit focused on increasing female participation in tech fields. As of July 2015, 17.1% of Intel’s leadership was female. While that’s an improvement on the company’s December leadership stats—15.4% female—it continues to show a vast gender gap at the top of the company. At the senior level, the proportion of female employees is even lower: just 15.7%, up from 14.1% at the end of 2014.

These numbers are “trending at about what you would expect to see,” says Sanders. For technical roles specifically, women tend to represent about 5% of leadership, she says, so given that Intel is dealing with a workforce that’s 85% technical, “this is a really good number.”

But while Intel is making progress, the company still lags compared to other top technology firms. According to Fortune’s diversity ranking of nine of the biggest players in tech, it ranked seventh on gender diversity in leadership. Airbnb and Facebook were top scorers, while Google and Microsoft had the smallest percentage of women at the top. If the progress over the last six months continues, however, Intel may soon climb higher up that list.

It must be noted that the statistics included in the Fortune ranking are slightly different than those those provided by Intel’s Diversity in Technology report. Fortune based all its numbers on the company’s EEO-1 Report, a document that’s filed annually with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) by large companies. The EEO-1 classifies some roles differently than Intel does in its new report.

The mid-year report is part of the company’s new commitment to transparency, which CEO Brian Krzanich announced at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January—along with a pledge of $300 million dollars to fund “full representation” of women and minorities by 2020. However, while Krzanich made the announcement, the diversity pledge was overseen by Intel president Renée James, who revealed in July that she’s leaving the company.

In the wake of James’ announcement, Intel told Fortune that Aicha Evans, VP and general manager of Intel’s communications and devices group, would take the reins on the initiative. The company had no additional comment for this story.

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