Intel, the microprocessing giant, is making a big effort to combat discrimination and promote workplace diversity.
Some of the largest technology companies have recently released employment reports, which show that roughly 70 percent of employees are men and 30 percent are women and that – depending on the company – minority races account for anywhere from two to seven percent of workers at big tech companies. Intel is planning on changing that.
On January 6th, Intel promised that their company’s workforce would better reflect the talent of women and underrepresented minority groups in the U.S. in general within the next five years. If their plan succeeds, it would increase the amount of women, African-American, Hispanics and other minority groups inside of Intel, by a minimum of 14 percent during that period (according to the company themselves).
On top of this announcement, Intel has also said that it has reserved a fairly large $300 million for improving diversity within the company over the next three years. The money will be used to attract more women and minorities to the technology field – through various scholarships and college/university support – and make the industry more hospitable in general once they get there.
You may be asking yourself what this all has to do with gaming – don’t worry, we’re getting there.
Intel also said that they would make an effort to bring more women into the games industry, probably in an attempt to remedy the harassment various female members of the industry (be it critics or developers) have received lately. Intel found itself drawn into the whole GamerGate hubbub, last year when it withdrew from an advertising campaign spearheaded by Gamasutra, after receiving a number of complaints from self-identified gamers, upset that the site was championing fair gender representation in video games.
This effort involves Intel’s plans to establish and support a professional women’s gaming team. They have partnered with the International Game Developers Association (IGDA), a nonprofit organization that have said they will send twenty female college students to a game developer conference with Intel’s support. The IGDA wants to double the number of women working in the games industry over the next decade, according to Kate Edwards, its executive director.
“I’m hoping Intel’s leadership on this issue will encourage other companies to follow suit and make them realize this is the moment,” Edwards stated.