Microsoft's decision earlier this year to lay off 7,800 more employees, mostly from its phone division, greatly impacted the number of women that are employed by the company. In the annual update to Microsoft's employee diversity and inclusion among its workforce, stated the percentage of women in its workforce went down from 29 percent in September 30, 2015 to 26.8 percent in September 30, 2015.
Microsoft's Gwen Houston, its General Manager, Global Diversity & Inclusion, said:
"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. This was the main cause of the decline in female representation at Microsoft. In short, a strategic business decision made in the longer-term interests of the company resulted in a reduction of jobs held by female employees outside the U.S."
"Even with this explanation, I want to emphasize that we are not satisfied with where we are today regarding the percentage of women in our workforce. Our senior leaders continue to be deeply committed to doing everything possible to improve these numbers."
In more positive news, the report states that Microsoft saw "modest year-over-year increases in nearly all racial and ethnic categories" among its workforce. Microsoft also saw percentage increases in women and ethnic minorities in leadership roles and that recruitments of woman and minorities from universities have also gone up in the past year.