Intel became the first company in the United States to voluntarily disclose pay, race, and gender data required by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Jeff Green and Hannah Recht, writing for the Los Angeles Times, explain that while the Obama administration required the EEOC to collect 2017 and 2018 data on gender, race, and pay disparities from nearly all US companies, the data can remain private unless a company chooses to make them public. Intel released their data voluntarily, hoping to encourage other companies to do the same. “It’s difficult to really fix what you aren’t being transparent about,” explained Barbara Whye, Intel’s chief diversity and inclusion officer.
The Intel data for fifty-one thousand US employees reveals disparities that are not surprising for the technology industry but are disturbing nonetheless:
- White and Asian men dominate the top levels of pay.
- Among the fifty-two top executives, twenty-nine are white men, eleven are Asian men, eight are white women, one is a black woman, one is an Asian woman, and one is a black man.
- The ratio of race and gender representation for top executives is similar across managerial, professional, and technical job titles.
Green and Recht note that “overrepresentation of white men in the highest-paying jobs contributes to the nation’s wage gap: American women earn 20% less than men do, and the gap is even wider for women of color.” The authors point out that simply raising the salaries of women and minorities is not enough. These underrepresented groups need to get promotions into the higher paying roles, and organizations need to ensure they are welcome and supported once they get promoted in order to keep them.
Wage and hiring transparency is important, but the EEOC says that it does not plan to collect this information in the future. The Obama law requiring the collection of this data by the EEOC was terminated by the Trump administration. This first round of collection was only completed because of a federal court order to do so. We must keep pressure on our government for wage transparency going forward if we want any chance of closing the wage gap.
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