Microsoft’s Diversity Report Shows Women Losing Ground

November 30, 2015

10:00 pm

It was recently reported by Fortune that, despite their best effort, Microsoft has actually cut more women-led roles and remained more male dominant. Their latest diversity report, which according to the article was released last Monday by Microsoft, “shows mixed progress on gender diversity within the technology giant”.

However, while the news might be slightly unsettling it’s not all bad. In fact, the article states that “Microsoft’s senior leadership team has a higher percentage of women than ever before”. Per the diversity report, women account for 27.2 percent of that senior leadership, and Microsoft even nominated two female executives to their board.

“Now, the bad: The overall percentage of women at the company has shrunk from 29 percent last year to 26.8 percent this year,” reads Fortune’s article.

According to Fortune, that decline was potentially caused by the company’s decision to shrink their international factory workforce. They quote Microsoft global diversity and inclusion general manager Gwen Houston as saying:

“The workforce reductions resulting from the restructure of our phone hardware business impacted factory and production facilities outside the U.S. that produce handsets and hardware, and a higher percentage of those jobs were held by women. It was a strategic business decision that lead to fewer female employees.”

Further, Fortune states that women “didn’t lose ground only in Microsoft’s factories”, which makes a lot of people scratch their heads. Microsoft’s numbers of females show a decline across the board.

  • Tech Jobs: Dropped from 17.1 percent to 16.9 percent
  • Non Tech Jobs: Dropped from 44.5 percent to 41.7 percent
  • Retail: Dropped from 37.3 percent to 34.9 percent
  • Direct Production Factories: Dropped from 60.8 percent to 57.9 percent
  • Result: An 8.3 percent drop across all combined sectors

Regardless, Fortune quotes Houston again as saying that Microsoft is making an effort to hire more females, which is encouraging when considering the future of the company. Microsoft might move a bit slower than the rest of the pack, but at least we’ve got some transparency from the company and know they’re firmly committed to upping their game moving forward.

Image Credit: Wikipedia

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Will is a Senior Writer with Tech.Co, based out of America's Finest City: San Diego. He covers all territory West of the Mississippi river, digging deep for awesome local entrepreneurs, companies, and ideas. He's the resident Android junkie and will be happy to tell you why you should switch to the OS. When he's off the clock, Will focuses his literary talent on the art of creative writing...or you might find him surfing in Ocean Beach. Follow Will on Twitter @WJS1988

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