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Intel CEO in New Diversity Report: ‘Let’s Turn This Tragedy Into Action’

August 15, 2017, 5:12 PM UTC

Intel’s CEO Brian Krzanich has had a busy 48 hours.

He has condemned white supremacists, was among four CEOs to leave President Donald Trump’s manufacturing council and today publishes a mid-year diversity report saying the company will reach its workforce representation goals in 2018 — two years earlier than previously expected.

In his comments on the mid-year diversity report Intel released Tuesday, he called on corporate leaders to turn “this tragedy into action.”

“Technology companies have talked about diversity for years,” he said, “but the data shows that progress has been slow.”

Barbara Whye, vice president of human resources and chief diversity officer, said the company knows where it’s succeeding and falling short.

“Encouragingly, we’re seeing stable progress of female, Hispanic and Native American representation,” she said. “However, we have more work to do in achieving full representation by African Americans in technical roles.”

The number of women at the company increased 0.3% since 2016, which brings the workforce to 26% women.

The categories Intel uses to track the racial demographics of their employees in the mid-year report vary from the EEO-1 report, which Fortune normally uses when reporting corporate diversity numbers. For example, Intel groups together white and Asian men in one category as a group that is currently over-represented in its workforce.

However, we do know from the company’s 2015 EEO-1 report that white men were about 43% of the workforce and Asian men about 23% that year.

White and Asian men together still make up 64.6% of all workers and 75.9% of senior level employees.

The number of African American workers at Intel was virtually unchanged at 3.6% and Native Americans account for 0.6% of the workforce. The number of Hispanic employees was also relatively flat, increasingly to 8.3% of the company.

These numbers may not seem far ahead of the tech industry as a whole (Intel’s representation of African Americans, for example, is better than Google’s workforce but lags behind Apple’s), but Intel is on track to beat the deadline for the company’s diversity goals.

The company sets its representation goals based on market availability — a metric calculated and updated by a third-party human resources law firm that considers U.S. Census Bureau data on the demographics among tech workers, the number of college graduates in related fields from the National Center for Education Statistics, internal company data and other sources to estimate the total number of qualified workers in the job market for specific positions.

Intel says those indicators make it confident that it can match or exceed its goals for each gender and race category by 2018. The company’s representation goal for early-career African American tech employees, for example, is 3.9%. That’s not a huge leap from the 3.8% of African American workers they reported in that role in the mid-year numbers, but it’s still just half of the 7.4% of African American employees in the high tech industry that the EEOC reported in 2014 across all job levels.

When Intel first pledged to commit $300 million to hire more women and minority employees, it had a gap of 2,300 workers to reach their goals. It’s made up a lot of ground since then — 65% improvement over the two and a half years.

The mid-year diversity report says Intel still needs to bridge a gap of about 800 employees. Beyond hiring more candidates from different backgrounds, Whye emphasized the importance of retention to reaching the company’s goals.

Intel’s WarmLine initiative aims to intercept employees that may leave the company and help address the concerns or roadblocks that may lead them out of the organization and provide them with a personal advisor to consider their options. The program tracked over 6,000 cases so far with about a 90% success rate and identified two main reasons employees begin to look for other options: manager capabilities and career progression.

The first is already being addressed. When complaints about management issues came up, Intel began training and retraining about 13,000 managers to be more inclusive, Whye said.

It’s harder to solve for employees struggling to grow and move up in their careers, but Whye said they’re focused on finding solutions.

“What you focus on really matters and what you measure really matters,” Whye said. “I know people speak to this work as being hard or difficult, but the reality of it is that it’s also focus and execution.”

One thing that’s helped: Sharing data among stakeholders and tying diversity and inclusion goals to manager compensation.

“This will not be easy,” Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said in a blog post. “It will require the continued focus and hard work of every Intel employee.”