Intel offers detailed look into employee pay disparities

White and Asian men make up 75% of the company's executive ranks, earning the highest salaries, the chipmaker says.

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Intel released a detailed report that included pay, race and gender data for the company's approximately 51,000 US employees.

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Intel on Tuesday released a report showing that white and Asian men dominate the top pay tiers of the company's workforce. And while the results aren't surprising, since they're largely typical of large Silicon Valley companies, the level of detail the chipmaker goes to in chronicling the pay disparity is.

The chip giant found that in 2018, 29 of its top 52 executives, who all earn more than $208,000 a year, were white men. Asian men accounted for 11 of the positions, while there were eight white women in the top ranks. One black man, one black woman, one Hispanic woman and one Asian woman rounded out the list.

The information was included in a report Intel sent to the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission that tracked the pay, race and gender data for the company's approximately 51,000 US employees.

This is the first year that the EEOC is requiring the same kind of pay data from all companies with more than 100 employees, though companies aren't required to publicly disclose that data. Previously, the EEOC required race and gender data, but not pay data.

"It is clear from our latest representation and pay data that we must continue to focus on the progression of all qualified employees within the company and build a deeper culture of inclusion to allow all voices to be heard," Barbara Whye, Intel's chief diversity and inclusion officer and a vice president in human resources, said in a statement. "We've learned that transparency is our strength and something that is critical for real progress."

The pay gap is one of many diversity issues confronting companies in the tech industry. Silicon Valley has faced tough questions about the treatment of women and minorities, and the industry continues to struggle with recruitment, retention and promotion.

When companies like Microsoft, Google, Facebook and Apple started publishing diversity reports around 2014, those reports put data behind what many assumed to be true: The tech industry is mostly white guys.

On average, 30 percent of the tech industry workforce is female, but studies indicate that more diverse teams, in terms of gender and race, show greater creativity and experimentation -- and get better results. Earlier this year, employment info site Glassdoor examined more than a half million salary reports and found that at the pace we're going, it's going to take 51 years to close the pay gap between men and women. 

The report found that white men command the highest salaries within job categories other than the executive level. Most of the company's employees fall into a category labeled "professionals," nearly all of whom earn at least $80,000 a year. But Intel found that white and Asian men made up more than 75% of the highest pay tier in the category.

Intel agreed in October to release the otherwise private data after agreeing to pay $5 million to settle employee accusations of pay discrimination based on race and gender. The settlement followed the chipmaker earlier this year saying that it had closed its pay gap.

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