LAS VEGAS — It’s time for the tech industry to walk the walk when it comes to women and minorities in the tech and gaming industries. That’s the surprise message delivered by Intel CEO Brian Krzanich as he unveiled a $300 million diversity initiative and a plan to make his company diverse from top to bottom.

The announcement came at the tail-end of Krzanich’s CES 2015 keynote Tuesday night. “It’s not enough to say we value diversity,” said Krzanich, unless his company and the industry fully represent women and minorities. He noted the wave of diversity reports from major technology companies, virtually all of which paint a bleak picture of diversity, with many of the companies’ still predominantly male and white. He also touched on the recent backlash against female gamers and game programmers.

“It’s time for us to step up and do more,” Krzanich told the audience and then outlined an aggressive plan for Intel.

Under this new diversity plan Intel plans to:

  • Have full representation in all levels of Intel’s workforce by 2020
  • Regularly measure and report on progress toward this goal
  • Hold company leaders accountable by tying their pay to the progress toward this goal

The second major part of this plan is the $300 million Diversity Initiative Fund, designed to encourage the broader representation of woman and minorities in technology and gaming.

After the speech Mashable asked Krzanich about the motivation behind these initiatives.

What specifically compelled you to develop this initiative and to call out the industry, particularly the way it’s been treating women?

Krzanich: “It’s women and underrepresented minorities, so it’s more than just women.”

“I’m an engineer and I believe that you only solve problems by setting aggressive goals. So as we sat and thought about, how are we really going to solve this problem? We decided to set a goal. We don’t know how to get there, but we’ve set a goal, made a commitment and now, as engineers, we have to go solve all the problems.”

And that $300 million, it’s for Intel and outside in the industry?

 

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