Inclusion and Diversity at Qualcomm

SOURCE: Qualcomm


Qualcomm has approximately 41,000 people represented by 109 nationalities working in more than 175 locations in 30 countries. Collectively, we speak 74 languages. We strive to be a community that reflects the world which we transform every day. That means working to ensure all our people have the chance to make their mark on innovation. 

Improving management & recruitment practices

We are dedicated to sustaining a work environment where every employee feels welcome, inventive, and inspired through initiatives and programs that foster opportunity, professional growth, and community.

We are proud that our wide-ranging and far-reaching inclusion and diversity efforts have earned our Company prestigious external recognition. Qualcomm was one of only 15 employers to receive the 2020 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom award. We’ve scored a perfect 100 on Disability:IN’s Disability Equality Index each year since its inception. Forbes named Qualcomm one of the Best Employers for Diversity, and Avtar named us one of the 100 Best Companies for Women.

Key inclusion and diversity efforts implemented in 2020 include:

  • We provided training on unconscious bias to help managers understand and overcome any hidden biases they might have that could be influencing their decisions around promotions and annual review ratings. 
  • We expanded our efforts to recruit and hire world-class diverse talent. We launched the Qualcomm Returnship Program to give employees who have taken a substantial break in their careers the opportunity to return to the tech sector. The program goal is to work with qualified individuals and help them gain professional experience, as well as build their skill sets for a successful career. 
  • Our revamped diversity conference strategy led to a 300 percent increase in conference hiring. In 2020, Qualcomm was represented at eight diversity conferences where we could interact with thousands of students and hire the future leaders of our Company.
  • We hosted the Disability:IN Inclusion Works Conference to promote hiring people with disabilities. Qualcomm was pleased to welcome over 100 companies and organizations to our campus for the two-day event that focused on educating and sharing best practices to hire and retain people with disabilities. We also hosted a panel where we discussed our successful internship program created for people with autism.
  • Our continued engagement with organizations that work with diverse communities has been vital to our success in building a more diverse pipeline. We’ve built more than 30 successful partnerships with organizations such as Reboot Representation, Fairygodboss, Society of Professional Hispanic Engineers, Rallypoint, National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), GEM Consortium, and National Center for Women and Information Technology.
  • We also proudly reaffirmed our support for the Hispanic Promise, the first-of-its-kind national pledge to hire, promote, retain and celebrate Hispanics in the workplace.

Diversity development

In alignment with our 2020 goal, our GID team established the Diversity Talent Development program and trained more than 7,500 employees on diversity, inclusion, racial equity, or leadership. The team also partnered with organizations such as LeadHership, Athena Academy, Hermanitas and The McKinsey Black Executive Leadership Accelerator to create development programs specifically for women and racial minorities.

To improve engagement with our female employees and enhance our ability to retain this talent, we launched a women’s leadership development initiative across our global engineering organization. This initiative encourages managers to engage their female employees in development conversations, so they are better able to identify opportunities for stretch assignments, mentorship and other growth opportunities. Themes that emerge from these conversations are used to identify professional and technical development programs.

In coordination with our Talent & Engineering Development teams, we’ve already introduced a variety of career and technical development training opportunities that align with the development themes:

  • BetterUp Career Coaching Cohort Program: Empowers and develops future diverse leaders in engineering with the support of a dedicated career coach.
  • IEEE – Rutgers Business Development Program, Mini-MBA: Addresses gaps between engineering expertise and business acumen.
  • Career Development Workshops and Events: Programs and offerings for diverse employees on topics such as presentation skills, mentorship and managing conflict, as well as offerings to help managers and leaders build their skills in key areas, such as coaching, engagement and leading technical people.

Promoting inclusion and diversity among employees

Qualcomm continued to expand its programs and activities promoting our inclusive and diverse culture among employees globally. GID’s support extends to our eight strong and vibrant Employee Networks (ENs), which added eight chapters globally while also increasing their domestic membership. Among domestic ENs, our African and African American Diversity (QAAAD) EN increased its membership more than 170 percent.

We increased global diversity awareness by hosting inclusion and diversity events all over the world. We also designated GID Regional Leads in global regions where we have a significant employee presence. These leads provide more support to the specific issues faced in the regions.

Normally, Qualcomm holds large events for Black History Month, International Women’s Day, Hispanic Heritage Month, Memorial Day, Pride and many more. During the COVID-19 pandemic, these events moved virtual. This format also allowed us to include global employees, and increase attendance, for our events.

Racial Justice

In the wake of George Floyd’s killing and the ensuing civil unrest around racial injustice, we created opportunities for employees and leaders throughout our organization to come together and talk about what they were seeing, hearing, and feeling.

We held listening sessions to give our communities of color the opportunity to speak directly to our senior leaders. We hosted employee forums for QAAAD and LatinQ, our Latinx EN, to brainstorm ways to address the needs of people of color. We invited speakers, including Ibram X. Kendi, one of America’s foremost historians and leading antiracist voices, to talk about systemic racism, the black experience in America and how to be an anti-racist.

We created a racial justice site on our intranet to give employees information and tools to fight racial injustice. We also created targeted development plans to increase black leadership within our Company.

We increased our charitable giving to racial justice organizations, including the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under the Law, Black Girls Code, Equal Justice Initiative, I have a Dream Foundation, Climate Justice Alliance, and the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation. We also directed and matched employee donations to other nonprofits addressing racial justice.

Promoting inclusion and diversity in the community

Inclusion and diversity are at the heart of Qualcomm’s success. We further innovation and accelerate growth by reaching out to diverse communities to promote equity. We have many successful partnerships locally, domestically, and globally, including schools, charitable organizations, and nonprofits.

We donate to nonprofit organizations locally and nationally that focus on inclusion and diversity with a particular focus on charities that focus on increasing diversity in tech. In 2020, we increased our standing in the San Diego community by becoming the lead sponsor for organizations such as The Richard Tapia Celebration of Diversity in Computing Conference.

We’ve created impact in the black community through community events, mentoring and academic support. We’ve sponsored Black History Month events and Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrations. We partner with Beyond School Walls (Big Brothers Big Sisters) to mentor kids from historically underserved communities. We partner with Students with Academic Goals to provide SAT test prep for underrepresented minority students. We also work with NSBE and GEM to support Black engineering students with scholarships.

To learn more about how Qualcomm is build an inclusive environment, click here

To learn more about Qualcomm’s 2025 goals and ESG performance in 2020, access the full report here

Tweet me: With 41,000 people represented by 109 nationalities working in more than 175 locations in 30 countries, @Qualcomm strives to ensure all of its people have the chance to make their mark on innovation. Learn how:


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