Intel Continues to Push Diversity, Invests $125M in Four Businesses

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- With a new initiative, Intel (INTC) is continuing its efforts to solve the longstanding problem of diversity in Silicon Valley.  

Intel Capital, the chipmaker's investment arm, announced it's starting the Intel Capital Diversity Fund and investing $125 million in four women- and minority-led businesses to demonstrate technology is about delivering the best results, regardless of race or gender.

"We believe that a diverse and inclusive workplace is fundamental to delivering business results," said Intel CEO Brian Krzanich in a statement. "Our goal with this new fund is to meaningfully support a technology startup workforce more reflective of society, and ultimately to benefit Intel and the broader economy through its success."

The four business investments -- Brit + Co, CareCloud, Mark One and Venafi --  add to what Intel is already doing to create more diverse management teams at venture-backed companies. According to a 2014 report from Babson College, only 15% of companies backed by venture capital firms have a woman on the executive team, while just 3% of companies with a female CEO receive venture capital investments.

The Intel Capital Diversity Fund expands on what Intel is doing to increase diversity in technology and Silicon Valley as a whole. In January, the world's largest chipmaker announced it would commit $300 million to a program known as Diversity in Technology Initiative, "which aims for the company to reach full representation of women and underrepresented minorities" in the company's domestic workforce by the end of the decade.

Diversity has been a hot button issue for tech companies, with the issue being presented at shareholder meetings across the space.

In March, Rev. Jesse Jackson praised Apple (AAPL) for increasing the number of minorities and females in its workforce, as well as a $50 million investment to get African-Americans, females and veterans into the technology space.

On Monday, Apple held its Worldwide Developer Conference, where it had two female executives, Jennifer Bailey and Susan Prescott on stage, making announcements. In prior years, the stage has been dominated by white male executives.

Last month, Google (GOOG) also had several female and minority executives on stage presenting announcements at its developer conference, Google I/O.

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