Microsoft Posts Diversity Data, Admits There's "Much Work" Left To Do

If you were to bump into a random Microsoft employee, odds are high the worker would be a white male. The odds increase if the Microsoft employee also happens to hold down a tech related job or is in a position of leadership. So says the diversity data that Microsoft posted, and though things are improving, the Redmond outfit readily admits that "much work remains" in building a truly diverse workforce.

When examining all of Microsoft's workers, 29 percent are now women, up from 24 percent just a year ago. There was also a bump in the number of senior executive women and minorities, which jumped from 24 percent to 27 percent in the past year. And on Microsoft's board of directors, the percentage of women and minorities has gone from 33 percent last year to 40 percent currently. These and other stats are all available on Microsoft's new Global Diversity and Inclusion website.

Microsoft Sign
Image Source: Flickr (david_jones)

Microsoft views diversity as an ongoing process and not something that needs to hit a certain target number before moving on to something else. In a letter to employees obtained by ZDNet, Lisa Brummel, Executive Vice President of Human Resources at Microsoft, laid it all out there.

"In our 20+ years of committed efforts toward managing diversity and inclusion effectively, what we’ve learned is that diversity is not a finite goal that can simply be achieved, then 'checked off' a list; it is a journey that requires constant self-assessment and re-commitment....Have we made progress? Yes, we certainly have, and I am proud of the progress we have made. But we can all agree that much work remains to be done to increase the diversity of our company and the tech industry," Brummel stated in her letter.

Microsoft Diversity Data
Overall workforce - Source: Microsoft

According to Brummel, a diverse workforce would give Microsoft a competitive advantage due to its customer base becoming more diverse. By having employees from all ends of the spectrum, Brummel believes that Microsoft will be in a better position to "anticipate, respond to and serve the needs of a changing marketplace."

Diversity has become a hot topic in the land of tech where the gap between white males and other demographics is particularly high as a whole. Several tech giants have come forward with diversity data in recent months, including Twitter, Yahoo, and Facebook. The recurring theme is that there's more work to be done.