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Microsoft’s attempts to improve its diversity figures might be failing



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Less women are working at Microsoft, despite the technology giant’s efforts to create a more diverse workforce.

Women made up 26.8% of the company’s global workforce at the end of September.

This was a drop from 29% a year earlier, according to Microsoft’s latest diversity report.

Gwen Houston, general manager, global diversity & inclusion explained in the report that the decline of women in the workplace was due to layoffs from the firm’s restructuring of the phone businesses Microsoft acquired from Nokia last year.

As part of the restructuring, the company eliminated many manufacturing jobs at factories outside the US, most of which are held by women.

“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.” she wrote.

ALSO READ:  How Facebook is promoting diversity in its offices

Some of the things that Microsoft have tried to do in the past year to create a more diverse workforce include implementing employee resource groups and employee networks.

These groups help to provide career development, support, networking opportunities, mentoring, community participation, product input, and assistance in activities that promote cultural awareness.

Their programmes include speaker series, scholarship programs, community service, development conferences, and heritage celebrations.

Despite the decline in the percentage of women employed at Microsoft, there are signs the company’s diversity efforts are paying off.

Microsoft said that women now make up 27.2 % of senior leadership team – the highest it has ever been.

The company also said that 30.6 % of hires from universities are women, up from 27.7 % the previous year.

Minorities also saw modest increases in the company’s make up. Of the 115,905 people employed by Microsoft worldwide,  Asians made up 29.3 % of the company, up from 28.8 %.

Microsoft is not the only tech company ramping up its efforts to become more diverse.

Earlier this year, both Apple and Intel shared their diversity data and plans for the future.

In August, Apple announced the hiring of more than 11,000 women in a 12-month time period.

Similarly, Intel reported surpassing its 2015 diversity goals and diversifying its leadership team.

ALSO READ: Diversity drives P&G workspace

Image: Shutterstock

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