Intel may have too much time on its hands. Earlier this week, the company asked its employees – all of them – to attend diversity training workshops.
In an email to employees, Intel CIO manager Andy Robbins said:
We are on track with our diversity hiring this year, and making good progress against our progression and retention goals. These are very encouraging results and we need to build on them by creating a fully inclusive work environment where each one of us can be at our best.
To build on this ‘success’, Robbins called on all employees to sign up to diversity classes:
Some of you might already be familiar with the MicroInequities™ training offering that was first rolled out about ten years ago at Intel. This training will help inform, educate and inspire all of us to role model behaviors that make us all feel a strong sense of connection and belonging within the IT organization.
My ask of you is to take this training before the end of 2016 and join your peers in creating our best possible work environment. Classes are available now and will be supplemented with IT Intact training classes in 2016. In addition to MicroInequities™, Global Leadership and Learning (GLL) will be launching a new program called GROW that provides complimentary skills. Expect to see more information about GROW in early December.
Readers will no doubt want to know what “MicroInequities™” training is. A seminar document describes them as “hidden barriers to success; the subtle, usually subconscious messages we all send that devalue, discourage and ultimately impair performance in the workplace.”
The document also claims that “we send between 2,000 and 4,000 positive and negative micromessages each day” and that they “have a powerful influence on driving the behavior of all those with whom we interact.”
Readers may wonder how making employees paranoid about the minutiae of their interactions with others could possibly create a better working environment. There’s also something vaguely totalitarian about the drive to stamp out subconscious aspects of peoples’ behaviour.
HBO’s comedic take on tech culture, Silicon Valley recently poked fun the tech industry’s obsession with “microaggressions,” with a parody anti-harassment policy that promised to ban “microaggressions, nanoaggresions, picoaggressions, yoctoaggressions and all such oppression “particles,” if you will, down to the quantum level.”
It’s an exaggerated take, but it’s fast becoming reality in the world of tech. Vox’s ban on “mansplaining” also mirrors the faux code of conduct.
We’ve previously reported on how Intel is sacrificing its technological excellence for the hand-wringing teachings of liberal arts and women’s studies courses, leaving the door open for competitors like AMD to make a better offer to talented STEM graduates. Intel now has the dubious track recotd of slashing $300 million across the entire company while pouring the same amount of money into a fund for valueless feminist YouTube whinging.
One has to feel for the frustrated STEM graduate of 2015. Having conducted a gruelling, challenging programme of study for years, they no doubt expect to work at the cutting edge of the tech industry. Instead, they get the same barmy sociological theories that they tried to avoid in college. AMD must be coughing their lungs up with joy.