Microsoft tops Fortune 500 charts for diversity and inclusion
Microsoft ranks highly in terms of racial and ethnic diversity but has room to grow regarding gender diversity.
What you need to know
- Microsoft is the top-ranked company on this year's Fortune 500 list on diversity and inclusion.
- This year's list includes data from Measure Up, a ranking of progressive companies.
- Almost 40% of Microsoft's board and 50% of its staff are racial and ethnic minorities
Microsoft regularly discusses the importance of diversity and inclusion, whether that be about Pride (opens in new tab), race, ethnicity (opens in new tab), gender (opens in new tab), or people with disabilities (opens in new tab). The company appears to be backing its words up with action, because it is the top-ranked company on this year's Fortune 500 list in terms of diversity and inclusion.
Fortune and Refinitiv partnered together to gather data and rank organizations based on 14 key metrics, including the percentage of minorities on a company's board, the percentage of employees that are women, and the percentage of employees with disabilities. This list also includes Measure Up, a ranking of the most progressive companies based on diversity and inclusivity.
Microsoft measures well in several key areas. Fortune highlights that it provides day-care services and has an employee resource group voluntarily formed by workers. The company also has targets for diversity and inclusion and policies regarding gender diversity.
According to Fortune, 39.7% of Microsoft's board is made up of racial and ethnic minorities. Overall, Microsoft's workforce is 49.8% racial or ethnic majorities. 41.3% of managers at Microsoft are racial or ethnic minorities.
While Microsoft has positive figures regarding racial and ethnic diversity, it falls behind in gender diversity. According to 2020 data reported by Microsoft, only 28.6% of its employees were women. 26.3% of managers at Microsoft were women in the same timeframe.
The data for Fortune's list is from 2020 when available and 2019 at the earliest. In the case of Microsoft, all data highlighted in this article is from 2020.
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Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at email@example.com (opens in new tab).
Didn't do much for morale or overall efficiency, though, when high visibility jobs were...constrained.
The job used to be fun and got...somewhat less.
I moved on. I have no idea how MS gets their statistics but I do know that as a broad based multinational they have a chance to recruit competent-to-brilliant personnel from everywhere. If their approach to diversity is to actively seek out top contributors with a fixed minimal talent level regardless of source then a (secondary?) focus on diversity makes sense: it is a matter of finding talent wherever it might be found. No reason to object. Diversity for diversity's sake, though, is meaningless-to-counterproductive.
People hired solely to improve the organization's statistics. They end up in high visibility minimal productivity jobs. Window dressing. Some know it, many don't.
Maybe not in your world but they exist; I've seen it. For that matter, in the government contracting world there are hundreds of small, minority owned business that exist solely to bid on federal contracts and then sub-contract the work to majority-white companies that aren't allowed to bid on those set-asides.
There are dozens of documented cases including a 2008 SCOTUS decision putting strict limits on the practices of set-asides.
This is but one: https://pacificlegal.org/chicagos-racial-contracting-set-asides-hurt-min... Note the case of the guy who got hired to get the company to qualify for a contract and fired once they got it. Mixing racialist policies with business is...tricky.
I'll go no further but if you do an online search you'll find abundant documentation of how...tricky.