Founded in 1985 and headquartered in the US, Qualcomm is one of the world’s top producers of fabless semiconductors, which are mainly used in wireless devices. Qualcomm has 189 offices in 28 countries around the globe.
The Qualcomm Small Business Accelerator Program helps small businesses in the US by providing them digital connectivity, products and technical support. Furthermore, Qualcomm India’s flagship programme Aqriti provides underprivileged girls with increased access to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. The company also has several other programmes in the US to encourage young girls to pursue STEM careers. Next to these initiatives, the company reports data on the number of people with disabilities it employs and its efforts to create an inclusive workplace for them, such as providing closed captioning and sign language interpreters during meetings. The company also discloses its community investment.
The company has several initiatives to promote basic and intermediate digital skills and school connectivity, carried out under the umbrella of the Qualcomm Wireless Reach programme. The company’s Thinkabit Lab initiative operates in schools across the US, teaching coding and other technical skills. The company also partners with the Xiaomi Corporation and the Shanghai Youren Foundation on an initiative that reskills people with disabilities in artificial intelligence (AI) data tagging to help them get higher paying jobs. Additionally, the programme Qualcomm 21st Century Classroom provides curriculum support and internet connectivity through smartboards to schools in rural China.
Qualcomm demonstrates best practice in its support for open innovation by participating in standards organisations, making a strong commitment to open source initiatives, sharing toolkits and collaborating with universities. The company’s contribution to the tech innovation ecosystem is reflected in its venture capital investments, innovation lab for Indian start-ups and support for women entrepreneurs. The company also demonstrates inclusivity and diversity in its innovation activities by reporting the number of its women employees in tech roles and the locations of its research and development (R&D) facilities.
The company has an opportunity to contribute to initiatives for intermediate digital skills development. It can also enhance disclosure of its financial and in-kind contributions to its digital skills programmes. Moreover, it can conduct third-party assessments to better understand programme impacts.
Qualcomm can disclose further details about its cybersecurity management process and make its information security management certification public. Further, as a digital company, Qualcomm should also make a high-level policy commitment to child online safety.
Qualcomm commits to respecting all human rights and ILO core labour rights. However, it is not clear whether the company requires its business relationships to respect all of the ILO core labour rights, in particular the rights to freedom of association and collective bargaining. The company has a grievance mechanism accessible to all stakeholders to raise human rights complaints. Moreover, Qualcomm describes a process to identify salient human rights risks in its own operations. However, the company does not disclose how it assesses and acts on salient human rights risks in its own operations and in its business relationships. Further, the company describes the various stakeholders whose human rights could be affected by its activities, but it does not disclose whether it engages with these stakeholders.
Qualcomm has a formal policy statement committing to respect worker health and safety. It also places the same requirement on its business relationships. The company does not, however, disclose a policy commitment stating that it does not require workers to work more than the regular and overtime hours. It also does not explicitly state whether it requires its business relationships to make this commitment. Qualcomm does not disclose the proportion of its employees covered by collective bargaining agreements, and it does not commit to paying its workers a living wage. The company does have a time-bound target relating to gender equality and women’s empowerment. In relation to workforce diversity, Qualcomm provides a breakdown of employees in different employee categories by age, race and ethnicity and gender.
Qualcomm has a policy prohibiting bribery and corruption, and it includes anti-bribery and anti-corruption clauses in its business relationship contracts. It also takes steps to identify and address bribery and corruption. Qualcomm has a global tax strategy and the company discloses the income taxes it pays in two categories – US and foreign taxes. However, it does not disclose its income tax payments in individual tax jurisdictions.. The company discloses its approach to lobbying and political engagement. However, it does not have a publicly available statement indicating that it does not make political contributions, and it does not disclose its lobbying expenditures.