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  • Carolina MIlanesi

For AMD There Is No Diversity And Inclusion Without Belonging


This week, AMD publishes its 27th Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report sharing its Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) focused approach that drives its sustainable tech innovation, supply chain responsibility, diverse talent acquisition and retention, and community impact.

In a year that saw AMD grow its revenue by 68% and its gross margin increase by 370 basis points, CEO Dr. Lisa Su remained committed to pushing the boundaries of compute performance while improving product energy efficiency and focusing on the company’s financial performance. The ESG goals the company set are not as aggressive as some seen across the tech industry, but the company's execution certainly seems to be effective as most of the goals are on track to be achieved within the timeline set by its leadership:

· 100 million people will benefit from AMD and the AMD Foundation philanthropy and partnerships that enable STEM education, scientific research and the future workforce by 2025. AMD is on track to deliver on this goal as in 2020 and 2021, more than 30 institutions received AMD technology through the HPC Fund and STEM initiatives, benefiting approximately 27.8 million people.

· 70% of AMD employees to participate in AMD employee resource groups and other AMD inclusion initiatives by 2025. In 2021, 52% of AMD employees voluntarily contributed to activities under this goal due to an increase in Employee Resource Groups (ERG) membership, employee volunteers and charitable donors.

· 30x increase in energy efficiency for AMD processors and accelerators powering servers for artificial intelligence training and high-performance computing by 2025. In 2021, AMD achieved a 3.9x increase, and midway through 2022 reached a 6.8x improvement in energy efficiency compared to 2020.

· 50% absolute reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from AMD operations (Scope 1 and 2) by2030. In 2021, AMD achieved a 25% reduction in scope 1 and 2 emissions.

· 100% of AMD manufacturing suppliers are to have a public greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction goal and their factories are to have a Responsible Business Alliance (RBA) audit or equivalent by 2025. In 2021, 74% of AMD's manufacturing suppliers had public GHG goals and 64% of these supplier factories had an RBA audit.

· 80% of AMD manufacturing suppliers, by spend, will participate in a capacity-building activity by 2025. Sixty-one percent of these suppliers by spend participated in capacity-building activities in 2021, including ethical recruitment training.

Susan Moore, Corporate Vice President, Corporate Responsibility and International Government Affairs President, AMD Foundation, credits the creativity, resiliency and collaboration of AMD employees and the company's culture for AMD's performance success and execution of its ESG goals.

AMD sees the continued lack of diversity in the tech industry as both a challenge and an opportunity for the company to create a diverse workforce and promote a culture of belonging and inclusion. Creating a sense of community and purpose adds "belonging" to a diversity and inclusion strategy for a company that embraces different viewpoints and experiences and helps foster and drives business performance.

The overall workforce numbers did not show much progress in 2021 over the previous year, but considering the company grew by almost 24%, that is not all bad news. In 2021, women represented 24% of the overall workforce and 14% of senior management, precisely the same as in 2020. In one of the more challenging areas for women's representation, technical roles, AMD grew women in engineering roles to 20%, one percentage point more compared to 2020.

In 2021, AMD partnered with AnitaB.org, a nonprofit dedicated to expanding the number of women engineers in the global workforce. The partnership resulted in offering 25 selected students the opportunity to attend a conference and receive an exclusive scholarship to support their technical education. The AnitaB.org Scholars program is designed to strengthen the community of peer support and access to resources for scholarship recipients, and the Scholar community includes recipients from around the world. The 25 women selected for the program attended the Grace Hopper Celebration. The students also attended a virtual networking session with a panel of women technologists at AMD to learn about career development and personal experiences. Additionally, the women undertook coaching, including nine hours of individual sessions.

The percentage of under-represented groups (URG) hires within AMD's U.S. workforce also grew in 2021. Being an attractive employer, both from a career and cultural perspective is only part of the equation in attracting and retaining talent. The other aspect is to continue to make science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) an attractive career path for under-represented populations. In most cases, for this to be possible, it requires providing opportunities to be exposed to STEM in the first place. That is why AMD partners with schools, educators and local nonprofit organizations to offer AMD processor-based equipment to outfit five AMD Learning Labs that help inspire students to pursue STEM education. The Labs support the expansion of STEM curricula and opportunities for under-resourced students to gain hands-on experience with computer hardware and software alongside ongoing engagement with AMD employee volunteers. As a result, students learn to build websites, design computer games, program in Scratch and Python and improve their digital literacy skills.

To ensure that Diversity Belonging and Inclusion (DB&I) is seen as a priority across the company in 2021, AMD tied DB&I goals to executive compensation.

To attract diverse talent straight out of college, AMD built sustainable engagements with organizations like the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), the National Society for Black Engineers (NSBE) and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) at top universities, including top HBCUs. Once part of the AMD family, belonging starts with the opportunity for new hires to be part of Employee Resource Groups (ERG) that can help build their network outside of their team and find mentors to grow in their careers. AMD employees are highly encouraged to get involved in ERG and AMD inclusion efforts, with 52 percent of them participating in 2021.

Employees are the most important stakeholder for AMD, which is why listening to their wants and needs is critical for its leadership. The report shows that 94% of employees are proud to work for AMD; as reported in an annual survey, the company fields each year at a worldwide level. This is a decrease of one percentage point over 2020. While a 96% response rate is very encouraging, the yearly cadence of the survey might not provide the timeliest assessment of AMD's talent and could even explain the drop.

At the time of the great resignation and the great reshuffle, being in touch with your workforce is critical, especially in a highly competitive space such as the semiconductor industry. Therefore, I would like to see AMD having more touchpoints with its workforce throughout the year as well as setting more aggressive goals for the participation of employees in DB&I initiatives. As AMD continues to push the technology boundaries of computing, more is expected of it when it comes to ESG.

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