As someone who works directly on the issues of diversity and inclusion in the workplace, I was pleased to see the recent story about Intel’s pledge to invest in diversity by Marisa Kabas in Fast Company. And I couldn’t agree more when she writes:
“There is a lot of lip service given fixing Silicon Valley’s diversity problem. But Intel CEO Brian Krzanich promised a bold move last week when he announced that his company was pledging $300 million to be used over the next three years to help eradicate the lack of diversity in the tech space.
“Krzanich’s announcement addressed both his company’s internal diversity issue—Intel’s workforce is 76% male and just 4% black and 8% Latino—and the greater issue for Silicon Valley at large. He said, by funding engineering scholarships, supporting historically black colleges and universities and other means yet to be specified, that he hopes ‘to reach full representation at all levels’ in the next five years. The actual number is undefined; he says it would represent a gender and racial breakdown equal to the number of qualified workers in the field.”
“Intel is setting the standard for inclusion in the tech industry. They are placing a stake in the group to say: ‘It’s time to step up and do more. It’s not good enough to say we value diversity,’ Krzanich said. ‘This isn’t just good business. It is the right thing to do.’”
It’s easy to highlight the diversity gap at most tech firms. But just because shockingly low diversity numbers are ubiquitous throughout the tech industry doesn’t mean that the problem is only a “tech problem.”
In fact, our research on inclusive leadership shows painfully similar themes and statistics have emerged from organizations across almost every industry. Tech is not the only sector struggling with a lack of diversity in leadership.
We’ve also found that diverse populations exist at lower levels of all organizations. The problem is (with few exceptions) that generally speaking, leadership consistently gets whiter and male-r as you move up the org chart.
And that’s why I say “It’s about time!” to Intel’s commitment to diversity. Building an inclusive culture requires developing inclusive leadership. Inclusive leaders are courageous and curious and look for new perspectives; they are adaptive to new ways of doing things and build relationships easily. These leaders create trust by sharing credit and decision-making authority.
There’s a good reason that inclusive leaders foster loyal and productive teams—they leverage their teams’ individual talents and help to build individual strengths while inviting opinions. They help create cultures that embrace diversity, thrive on synergy, and produce exponentially high results.
Inclusive organizations focus on attracting, developing, and advancing women and underrepresented populations by removing roadblocks, gaining stakeholder buy-in, and developing opportunities for growth.
I’m proud to say that we at Linkage thrive on helping organizations be more inclusive.
And we can help your organization too.
Click here to learn more.