Microsoft’s 2020 Diversity & Inclusion report: A commitment to accelerate progress amidst global change

Snapshot collection of faces

An earlier version of the blog was posted with some numerical errors. This was due to a technical issue, which has now been resolved.

Today, I am sharing Microsoft’s 2020 Diversity and Inclusion report, which comes at a time marked by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, amplified acts of racial injustice, and the reality of global uncertainty.

This year’s report focuses on three core areas in addition to the data: the ways that diversity and inclusion is integrated into our employee pandemic response, our commitments to addressing racial injustice, and our investment in the Allyship at Microsoft learning path. The report also includes:

  • For the first time, our data on the number of employees in the U.S. who self-identify as having a disability;
  • An expanded look at our global equal pay data including 10 of the largest markets outside of the U.S.;
  • A closer look at our Inclusion Index and the various ways we receive insights on how employees experience our efforts to strengthen our culture of inclusion; and
  • A more global mix of employee voices and experiences across a range of communities, identities, and geographies.

The data shows steady progress

Microsoft started publicly sharing its annual workforce demographics in 2014. This year’s report reflects the trends and learnings over our five most recent demographic data disclosures.

The following data reflects Microsoft only; it does not include our broader family of companies[1] (LinkedIn, GitHub, and our minimally integrated gaming studios), nor does it include new acquisitions and joint ventures.

  • Diverse representation: Overall, we have seen some modest gains since 2019 including among women who now represent 28.6% of the global Microsoft workforce, an increase of 1.0 percentage point since last year. However, racial and ethnic minority communities have largely seen incremental progress and there is still much work to be done.
    • Black or African American employees represent 4.9% of our U.S. workforce, up 0.3 percentage points since 2019.
    • Hispanic and Latinx employees represent 6.6% of our U.S. workforce, up 0.3 percentage points since 2019.
    • Native American, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander employees represent 0.7% of our U.S. workforce, and this number has remained the same since last year.
    • Asian employees, which include more than a dozen different ethnic groups, represent 34.7% of our U.S. workforce, an increase of 1.6 percentage points compared to 2019.
  • We see clear opportunity to improve representation across all levels and roles, especially for Black and African American and Hispanic and Latinx employees. We are prioritizing our recent commitments to strengthen our intentional career planning and talent development efforts on the path to senior leadership.
    • Black and African American employees are 4.9% of our U.S. workforce and 5.2% of individual contributors, but only 2.9% of managers, 2.6% of directors, and 2.9% of partners + executives.
    • Hispanic or Latinx employees are 6.6% of our U.S. workforce and 6.8% of individual contributors, but only 5.4% of managers, 4.8% of directors, and 4.4% of partners + executives.

Continuing to accelerate leadership and talent development, systems of accountability, and strengthening our culture of inclusion are in addition to the comprehensive work we already have underway.

Our pandemic response

When the COVID-19 pandemic started to rapidly shift how we live and work, it amplified differences in our lived experiences, revealing many social inequities that could previously remain hidden from work. When school closures and caregiving restrictions upended family dynamics and divisions of labor, we supported our workforce through caregiver leave programs, which gave all employees flexible time off to help manage remote learning transitions and balance care for loved ones. We also supported our employees through the transition to remote work by helping to cover costs of ergonomic office furniture and ensuring that everyone could access a variety of tools and resources to support mental well-being and mental health. Empathy for one another has been essential as we each navigate this challenging year and balance work life.

Our commitments addressing racial injustice

In June,  our CEO Satya Nadella outlined our commitments to increase diversity in representation and strengthen our culture of inclusion within our company, engage our ecosystem to drive change, and strengthen the communities in which we live and work. These efforts, focused on addressing the unique experience of Black and African American communities in the U.S., include short- and long-term, multi-year, sustained actions to accelerate our diversity and inclusion work.

We are early in our journey – only a quarter has passed since we shared our commitments, but our actions have been intentional and steadfast. While our representation goals span a five-year commitment, we are taking steps forward and wanted to share a few examples of our updates:

  • In an effort to  increase representation within our company and strengthen our culture of inclusion, we are expanding our internal programs for midlevel and director level employees, which provide opportunities for career advancement while also helping to support managers in nurturing diverse talent. This  builds on the work we have already established in career and talent development.
  • As we look to  engage our ecosystem, we are working with partners in banking and business to create opportunities. One example is the Clear Vision Impact Fund, which we launched in partnership with Black-owned and operated Siebert Williams Shank Bank, with an initial $25 million anchor investment. The fund will support the growth and operating capital in small- and medium-sized businesses, with a focus on minority-owned businesses.
  • To help  strengthen our communities, in August we announced a community skills program that will provide $5 million in grants to nonprofits serving communities of color. We are also expanding the pipeline of diverse talent through ongoing work with Historically Black Universities and Colleges (HBCUs), and we have created a new grant program to help HBCU faculty advance their work around data and computer science.

Our progress will be ongoing, and we will continue to provide our employees updates in our Town Hall and employee Q&As and on our intranet.We will also provide comprehensive updates on our progress in future annual diversity and inclusion reports.

Understanding our investment in allyship

At Microsoft, we believe everyone at every level plays a role in creating a diverse and inclusive work environment, and that allyship behavior is key. An ally is someone who makes the intentional decision to understand, empathize, and act in support of someone else. It is not an identity – rather it is a lifelong commitment and practice.

Grounded in neuroscience, the Allyship at Microsoft learning path helps us understand ourselves and encourages us to take responsibility for our individual learning. What started in July 2019 as a voluntary learning program has since evolved into a required training that provides our more than 160,000 global employees a shared language and understanding of the role we each play in creating a culture of inclusion. This is especially important for a global organization, and at a time when there are many interpretations in broader society of what allyship means. We are already seeing positive progress as our communities adopt the training: By September of this year, just two months after the first four introductory courses of the program were made mandatory for all core Microsoft employees, 24% – or more than 35,000 members of the workforce – had completed those modules.

I encourage you all to read the full report to explore much more detailed data, insights, employee stories, initiatives and learnings.

[1] For data on the broader Microsoft family of companies, please visit pages 9-11 of the report.


Tags: , ,