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The Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship’s State of Corporate Citizenship 2017 revealed that issues such as diversity and inclusion have significantly increased in importance. And this is not just because businesses want to rip the benefits of having diverse employees, but also because diversity and inclusion contribute to positive social change and national and economic growth.
Diversity is linked to innovation and there’s one field that is defined by its ability to innovate. That is technology. This article presents the competition between two leading companies – Intel and Microsoft – for having a diverse body of employees and reaching consumers from a variety of different backgrounds.
Intel, led by CEO Brian Krzanich, set the ambitious goal of achieving “full representation of women and minorities” in its U.S. workforce by the year of 2020. However, the fact that the company already hit 45.1 percent diverse hiring for women and underrepresented minorities in 2016 suggests that the goal might be accomplished earlier than the foreseen date.
The company not only puts effort into achieving high levels of diversity, but it also makes sure to groom future employees. Intel has been investing in the computer science and engineering programs at Oakland Tech and McClymonds high schools. Two years into these collaborations, enrollment in computer science classes has increased 14 times. What’s more, Intel also got involved into improving the curriculum and is running a pilot mentoring program that matches graduating seniors to employees.
Diversity and inclusion are very important issues for Microsoft as well. In his 2017 annual letter to shareholders, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella wrote: “As a multinational corporation, we have both a substantial opportunity and a high responsibility to ensure that technology’s benefits reach people more broadly across our global society and economy.” Microsoft is aware of the fact that having diverse employees not only contributes to performance in business but also makes it easier to reach diverse markets.
Microsoft takes inclusion seriously as well, having scored 100 on the Disability Equality Index in 2017, thanks to its Inclusive Hiring Program, such as the Autism Hiring Program. Just like Intel, the company also invests in grooming future employees. Through YouthSpark, a program that offers employment, entrepreneurial opportunities and educational programs, Microsoft is supporting 300 million young people across the globe. Moreover, the company has also managed to consistently achieve a 100 score on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation Corporate Equality Index for more than a decade and is a known supporter of the LGBT community.

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