SAN FRANCISCO — Intel said that it has achieved “full representation” of women and underrepresented minorities in its U.S. workforce two years ahead of its 2020 goal.

The biggest U.S. chipmaker established the goal in January 2015, committing $300 million to support it and a broader company goal of “improving diversity and inclusion in the entire technology industry.” To support the goal, Intel has invested in programs that expand access to STEM education and opportunities in underserved populations. The company also invested heavily in internal programs, it said.

Women now account for 27% of Intel’s U.S. employee base, with nearly 24% in technical roles, according to the company’s annual diversity report. Underrepresented minorities now account for 14.6% of Intel’s U.S. workforce, led by African Americans, which now represent 4.6% of its U.S. workforce, according to the report.

Intel's 2018 U.S. employee workforce representation and growth since 2015. (Source: Intel)
Intel's 2018 U.S. employee workforce representation and growth since 2015. (Source: Intel)

The semiconductor industry and the broader technology industry overall have come under fire in recent years for lack of employee diversity. The semiconductor industry itself attributes this largely to lower percentages of women and minorities that pursue STEM-related careers.

Intel said that 85% of its workforce is in technical roles, making the diversity and inclusion goal more difficult to achieve.

“We are proud of our progress but not satisfied,” said Barbara Whye, Intel’s chief diversity and inclusion officer, in a posting on Intel’s website.

Whye said that Intel prioritizes diversity as a business goal to drive innovation and future growth. Diverse teams with different perspectives, experience, and ideas are more creative and innovative, said Intel.

“Diversity and inclusion cannot be treated as an add-on,” said Whye. “It has to be integrated into everything we do, and this is just the beginning.”