Microsoft publish 2019 Gender Diversity
Following pressure, companies now publish their diversity data which includes a breakdown of the composition of their workforces by gender and ethnic diversity. Although its successful as a first step, the information disclosed is broad and high level, making it difficult to understand what the published information means.
This year, Microsoft broke ranks from the other technology companies and took an important step to provide some more clarity on the data. The company has begun categorising by gender and ethnic diversity, and also split people by levels of management, including identifying people who don’t manage anyone. With this report, Chief of Diversity Lindsey -Rae McIntyre has stated “People management is a skill necessary to rise to the highest levels of the organisation at Microsoft”, “We wanted people to know we understand we have the opportunity to do better there”.
Looking at the Gender diversity side of the report, woman now make up 27.6% of the company’s total workforce, although this is slowly improving, there is still concern around the women in executive roles which remains under 20%. For the technical workforce, woman make up 21.4% ( a slight improvement on the previous year).
The reason for Microsoft publishing this data in more detail looks to be driven by the study published by Facebook COO Sheryl Sandburg’s organisation. This study identified a “broken rung” for women, ie there is a problem with women moving from non-management to people management roles. The study identified that fixing this would add 1 million women to managing across corporate America within 5 years.
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Employee diversity provides a number of benefits to any organisation (large and small). Ethnically diverse companies perform 35% better than their industry median and gender diverse companies are 15% more likely to haver returns above the industry median. With the national customer base becoming more diverse, it is important that a company is representative to fully understand its clients’ needs and, according to the latest research, 67% of employees cite a diverse workforce is a key factor when looking at a role.
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