Here’s How Microsoft Plans to Fix it’s Diversity Problems


Here’s How Microsoft Plans to Fix it’s Diversity Problems : Microsoft Corporation has a diversity problem. In order to make the tech titan more diverse, Microsoft will tie executive bonuses to its success at achieving diversity hiring goals. This comes after it was reported that the number of women hires declined this past fall. Can Microsoft become more diverse in the future?

Microsoft Corporation Wants More Diversity

Silicon Valley isn’t diverse enough. Despite claims that it is a progressive community, the tech firms are not achieving their diversity aims. Ostensibly, these tech firms have workforces comprised of males, whites and Asians. Not much else. Microsoft thinks it may have come up with the solution to this issue: bonuses.

Moving forward, Microsoft will tie its bonuses for executives to its success at meeting its diversity hiring aims. Gwen Houston, chief diversity and inclusion officer at Microsoft, wrote in a blog post that “the challenge is real.” However, with enough persistence and dedication to solve the problem, she suggested, Microsoft can have a diverse workforce.

The idea of merging bonuses with diversity targets are being adopted across Silicon Valley. Intel, for instance, spent $300 million on a diversity plan, which consisted of referring candidates who were women and part of minorities. One year after launching the initiative, 43 percent of all new hires in 2015 were females or minorities. Why is Microsoft starting this plan? The firm discovered that the size of its female workforce fell from 26.8 percent to 25.8 percent.

Microsoft did find that the number of female employees in non-production sectors jumped by half a percent. Also, over the last 12 months, more than one-quarter of its new hires were women. When it comes to hiring minorities, Microsoft said that blacks represented 3.7 percent of the firm, up from 3.5 percent. Also, Hispanics accounted for 5.5 percent of the workforce, up from 5.4 percent. Despite some of the positive trends, Microsoft thinks that it can do a lot more.

“We are encouraged by the modest gains we’re seeing in female representation in technical and leadership roles, and even more significantly, by the hiring trends of the past year that resulted from our efforts to recruit top-notch female talent,” wrote Houston in the blog post. In addition to its bonus program, Microsoft is investing in diversity recruiting campaigns and STEM programs to boost the applicant pool.