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Microsoft shares latest data on workforce diversity and pay equity across roles

Microsoft’s newly released Diversity and Inclusion Report shows some of its biggest gains yet in Black and African American as well as Hispanic and Latinx employee numbers. Women working for Microsoft’s core business worldwide total 30.7% of the population, up from 26.6% in 2018.

The fourth annual report released on Thursday shared data in new metrics as well, including the percent of U.S. workers with military service (4.7%), those who identify as multi-racial (2.6%), and pay and attrition relative to gender, race and ethnicity.

The Redmond, Wash.-based tech giant shares a significant amount of detail in the demographic reports covering its 221,000 employees worldwide and 122,000 U.S. workers.

“Transparency and accountability are part of an equation to build trust,” said Lindsay-Rae McIntyre, Microsoft’s chief diversity officer, in a GeekWire interview. This approach, she added, “shines a light on where we’re making progress, but also where we know we have so much more to do.”

Microsoft, Google, Facebook and Apple have been publishing diversity numbers since 2014, according to Protocol. Amazon has reported on its demographics since 2015.

Here are some highlights from the Microsoft report.

Women working for Microsoft within and outside of the U.S. earned slightly more than men in comparable roles, according to the new report. Racially and ethnically diverse U.S. Microsoft workers also earned slightly more than their white counterparts.

Microsoft for the first time also disclosed data on pay regardless of an employees’ role. It calculated what it’s calling the “median unadjusted pay analysis” by comparing the median pay for all core Microsoft workers, which excludes employees at LinkedIn and GitHub.

Those numbers showed that based on median pay:

Because Microsoft’s data shows that workers in comparable roles earn comparable pay, the differences here reflect the fact that white and male employees disproportionately hold more high-paying leadership positions at the company.

Following the 2020 George Floyd protests and the Black Lives Matter call to action, the company drafted a suite of diversity initiatives, including a pledge to double the number of Black and African American managers and senior employees by 2025 in the U.S.

This year’s report showed progress toward those objectives:

RELATED: Following 2020’s racial justice pledges, Microsoft shows improvement in annual diversity numbers

In 2021, Amazon, by comparison, reported higher percentages of Black and African American employees among its corporate workforce (8.5%). That number is 8.5% for Hispanic and Latinx employees.

In the past year, Microsoft has taken new actions to address concerns about sexual harassment and gender discrimination policies and practices.

In January the company’s board directed Microsoft to hire an outside firm to review these issues. The decision followed a shareholder resolution on the matter that received 78% approval at Microsoft’s 2021 annual meeting. The review is expected to address a 2019 email thread in which female employees raised discrimination allegations, as well as an assessment of the company’s prior investigation into allegations against Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.

This year, the tech company’s diversity and inclusion report included data related to attrition and job satisfaction that was broken out by gender and race.

In a tally of workers leaving the company by choice or involuntarily, women and Black workers left at slightly lower rates, while Hispanic and Latinx, Asian, and multi-racial employees left at slightly higher rates relative to overall numbers.

Microsoft also shared detailed information on job satisfaction. Scores on feeling empowered, energized, thriving, and engaging in meaningful work did not vary widely among different groups.

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