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Intel announced it signed the White House Equal Pay Pledge at the #IDF16

by Milicent Atieno
Intel announced it signed the White House Equal Pay Pledge at the #IDF16

Last week Intel held its annual Intel Developers Forum (IDF) in San Francisco referred to as the IDF16. The company among other things made big headlines with the announcement of advance steps it has made in Deep Learning, Merged Reality, and Silicon Photonics. It also showed off the next generation Kaby Lake CPU, one with substantial multi-media capabilities.

Intel also made another milestone announcement that had much broader appeal beyond just the tech communities. The company announced it had signed the White House Equal Pay Pledge, a U.S. government pledge to companies to enact equal pay for equal work without gender bias. Intel says it will commit to that pledge and reduce the gender pay gap within its organization.

The U.S. government launched the White House Equal Pay Pledge last year during the United States of Women Summit on Women’s Equality Day. Intel becomes the latest big company to sign the pledge. Others include Akamai Technologies, Microsoft, Apple, Facebook, Dropbox, and LinkedIn.

Steps Intel has taken before towards Equal Pay

Even before signing the White House Equal Pay Pledge, Intel has been known to conduct an in-house audit, which checked on among other things its employees’ pay disparity by gender. In 2015 Intel’s Annual Report disclose the company had achieved 100% gender pay parity.

The signing of this pledge shows Intel is not content with its own standards, it is going further. Earlier this year, its audit included investigations on pay based on its staff’s race and ethnicity. Intel says as far as equal pay regarding different race and ethnicity now stands at 99%. The company reaffirmed its commitment to closing the salary gap between the big racial and ethnic groups and the minorities by the end of this year.

Equal Pay disparity is most pronounced in Tech Industry

As much as equal pay is a thorny issue among many industries, and by equal pay, I do not just mean between different genders, also between staff from different race and ethnic background. However, its disparity in the tech industry is biggest. For a long, the tech world has been predominantly white and male, with women and people from other ethnic backgrounds being the minority and with little pay.

So such deliberate move by the tech big-wigs like Intel, Microsoft, and Apple among others is a step towards the right direction. The perception that the tech world is a ‘Boy Club’ will change sooner rather than later.

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