It is not a big secret that the technology industry sucks when it comes to diversity, with the diversity reports released by the major tech companies reveal that most of their employees are either white or male. Some companies are trying to address this issue – with Intel joining that list. The chipmaker announced at CES that they are pledging $300 million to bring more women and minorities to the tech industry.
Intel says that they plan to become a fully diverse workforce by 2020. In addition, it plans to engage with several partners in technology and video games to “support, enhance or create new programs” for the initiative – including Rainbow PUSH, the Anita Borg Institute, and the National Centre for Women in Technology.
“We’re calling on our industry to again make the seemingly impossible possible by making a commitment to real change and clarity in our goals,” said Brian Krzanich, the company’s CEO. “Without a workforce that more closely mirrors the population, we are missing opportunities, including not understanding and designing for our own customers.”
That should sound like a good thing – and it is. However, those who support a certain hashtag aren’t liking the news and have vowed to boycott them on Twitter and go to their rivals at AMD. Why?
Mainly because of one of the organisations that will be getting some money from the initiative is Feminist Frequency, a video blog hosted by Anita Sarkessian. Sarkessian has been a target by those who support the certain hashtag, receiving abusive messages and death threats for commenting about sexism in video game culture – so much that she was forced to leave her home.
I would normally have published the tweets from supporters of the hashtag, but I am not doing that because I do not want to give oxygen to these idiots. You can obviously find these yourselves – which I did after seeing a cryptic tweet from Mark Pesce and instantly regretted because of the stupidity of some people.
Arguably, you can make the connection that Intel announced the initiative in response to the negative press it received (and rightly so) for pulling advertising from Gamasutra after supporters of the hashtag started a campaign to attack the site after its editor, Leigh Alexander, published a piece highly critical of the movement. I would say it may have played a part in the selection of organisations or fast-tracked the decision, but not caused the creation of the initiative. That would be the bleak disclosures it – like other major tech companies like Google, Facebook, Twitter and Microsoft – has made about the diversity of its workforce.
Either way, I say good luck trying to boycott Intel those who support the hashtag because the company is a dominant force in the PC market (i.e. you rarely see a computer or laptop with an AMD processor). I highly doubt AMD supports your cause either – and if you plan to boycott them, then you’re fucked.
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Image Credits: TC Sottek/The Verge