Microsoft’s detailed diversity numbers – welcome news, same old story

7 Jan 2015

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Late last month, software giant Microsoft released a detailed breakdown of the make-up of its US staff, following calls from people to broaden the company’s standard diversity report.

Microsoft CEO Sataya Nadella had indeed promised to release a federal Equal Employment Opportunity form (EEO-1) as follow-up to the company’s own diversity report.

This form makes for interesting reading, but was hidden from view as the Christmas period came along. Luckily for us, Jacob Demmitt at TechFlash managed to find himself a link to the report, giving us a better look at Microsoft’s diversity.

White men still dominate positions of authority, with men representing almost 70pc of all executives, senior officials and managers in the US.

Men in fact make up 87.5pc of all top ranking employees, with just two non-white women operating in that tier, the same as the number of black people. In fact, if you take out people of white or Asian backgrounds, just seven of the 144 senior positions remain.

Interestingly, though, since the last report (which isn’t given a year) the percentage of white employees has actually dropped (from 61.82pc), spread equally across men and women.

Global figures alter the reality

When looking at Microsoft’s global figures, which are linked within the report, the diversity within Microsoft shifts slightly. Globally, men take up far less, ‘just’ 71pc of the workforce. However, men work in more than 82pc of Microsoft’s tech positions, and a similar ratio of leadership roles.

Microsoft’s global breakdown of its employee demographics show white male dominance in leadership positions

The figures don’t seem too groundbreaking, however, the level of detail is welcome, as tech employers globally seek to balance out their workforce diversity.

Inspire 2015 is Silicon Republic’s international event running 18-19 June in Dublin that connects sci-tech professionals passionate about the future of STEM with fresh perspectives on leadership, innovation and diversity.

Gordon Hunt is a journalist at Siliconrepublic.com

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