Intel’s CEO Brian Krzanich is our kinda guy. He made a pledge, not so long ago, to invest over $300 million to diversify the tech industry, ensuring that the tech industry doesn’t remain a heavily male dominated space, and he’s sticking to his word. The balance of men and women at least in Intel ranks highly on his list of priorities, so much so, the investment part of the company have launched a $125 million initiative to fund female-led (and minority-led) start-up tech companies over the coming five years.
Speaking to VentureBeat, Lisa Lambert of Intel Capita stated what’s crystal clear to us, but not so evident if you’re looking at the current ratio of men to women in the tech industry: “The big issue we have seen, because venture capitalists are on the leading edge, is that we need to engage here… We see a lack of engagement and involvement across the industry as a whole.We want to be a catalyst. We believe it’s good business… Half the population is women. Women are leading in every other industry. And there is a tremendous demographics shift.”
As Refinery29 report, the most recent figures show that this hugely influential industry is now up to 92% male and, what’s more, it remains a predominantly white population. Intel Capita,lead by Lambert, have spent the last six months working out a way to make Krzanich’s vision a reality, beginning with a $16.7 million investment in four tech start-ups, as well as an ear-marking of 100 more companies that qualify for funding. To qualify, the start-up must show that either the CEO or founder or at least three major executives are women, black, Latino or native American.
“We want to make a difference here,” Lambert continued. “These are the groups that receive the least amount of funding… Women have this issue in every geography of the world,”
According to VentureBeat, Lambert said that “10 percent of Intel Capital’s portfolio companies are currently led by women and underrepresented minorities. And 13 percent of Intel Capital’s employees are also in those groups. While that compares favorably to the rest of industry, it’s not enough for Krzanich’s vision.”
On his vision to diversify, Krzanich has said in a recent statement: “We believe that a diverse and inclusive workplace is fundamental to delivering business results. Our goal with this new fund is to meaningfully support a technology startup workforce more reflective of society, and ultimately to benefit Intel and the broader economy through their successes.”
On another tech subject, see Blogging: The Power of Storytelling for you and your business