Microsoft’s 2021 Diversity & Inclusion report: Demonstrating progress and remaining accountable to our commitments

Collage of eight different people

Today, I am sharing Microsoft’s 2021 Diversity and Inclusion report, our third annual report and our eighth year of releasing our global workforce demographic data publicly. This past year was a challenging time for so many people, communities and organizations. Ongoing acts of hate and violence in the U.S. and around the world have continued to move racial injustice to the forefront of social consciousness, while the global pandemic has exacerbated inequities and upended our lives. In the face of these realities, the sense of urgency to solve some of the biggest systemic problems of equality and inclusion is palpable.

This report is an opportunity for us to quantify the impact of our work. Measurement and data are important to us, not only because they allow us to recognizing progress, but also because it enables us to identify avenues and opportunities to do better. And while numbers provide an important and necessary snapshot, we also prioritize the perspectives and experiences of the more than 180,000 employees who bring their unique talents to our family of Microsoft companies. In addition to the data and progress you see in the document, we are also sharing five videos that explore the strategy and the intent behind the work we do, and the people who bring it to life.

YouTube Video

I am energized by the momentum we have seen in our neuroscience-based Allyship at Microsoft learning path, which we launched in 2019. As of June 2021, at least 96% of employees have completed D&I learning courses on allyship, covering, privilege and unconscious bias in the workplace. This gives our full employee base the awareness necessary to show up as allies at scale. I am encouraged by the call-to-action from the many industry-leading academics, behavioral scientists, and social change experts who joined us at our Include 2021 event and allowed us to share their perspectives on our Inclusion Journey site. These external experts provided a clarity of purpose for employees and our ecosystem.

The data show steady progress
The following data reflect Microsoft’s core business which does not include LinkedIn, GitHub, and our minimally integrated gaming studios. For data on the broader Microsoft family of companies, please visit pages 9-11 of the report.

Representation of most groups in our core Microsoft business has increased year over year. For representation of a group to increase, employee population of that group needs to grow at an equal or greater rate than the general employee population. Since 2017 our core Microsoft workforce grew 41.6% globally, and 35.4% in the U.S. Over the same period, the population growth for certain groups exceeded those rates in our core Microsoft business, continuing a years-long trend toward greater diversity:

  • Women now represent 29.7% of our global workforce, an increase of 1.1 percentage points since 2020.
  • Black and African American employees now represent 5.7% of our U.S. workforce, up 0.9 percentage points since 2020. This is the strongest year-over-year representation increase in five reporting periods.
  • Hispanic and Latinx employees now represent 7.0% of our U.S. workforce, up 0.5 percentage points since 2020. This is the strongest year-over-year increase in five reporting periods.
  • Asian employees, a category that includes more than a dozen different ethnic groups, now represent 35.4% of our U.S. workforce, an increase of 0.7 percentage points compared to 2020.
  • Native American, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander employees represent 0.7% of our U.S. workforce, and this number has remained flat over the last five reporting periods.
  • Employees identifying as multiracial now represent 2.5% of the U.S. workforce, up 0.2 percentage points from last year.
  • By June 2021, 7.1% of our core Microsoft employees in the U.S. chose to self-identify as having a disability. This is one whole percentage point higher than in June 2020.

We have achieved some gains year over year at the leadership level, especially among women globally, and among Asian and Black and African American leaders in the U.S.:

  • Black and African American employees in our U.S. workforce comprise 3.9% of managers, 3.2% of directors, and 3.8% of partners + executives. At the executive level, representation increased by 1.9 percentage points over the past year to reach 5.6%.
  • Hispanic and Latinx employees in our U.S. workforce are 6.0% of managers, 5.2% of directors, and 5.2% of partners + executives. At the executive level, representation increased by 0.4 percentage points over last year to reach 3.7%.
  • Employees who identified with an Asian ethnic group make up 31.0% of managers, 31.3% of directors, and 26.2% of partners + executives. At the executive level, Asian representation reached 23.3%, up 1.8 percentage points over last year.
  • Women in our global workforce are 27.1% of managers, 22.0% of directors, and 21.1% of partners + executives. While representation of women executives went down 0.6 percentage points from 2019 to 2020, it increased by 1.0 percentage points in 2021, resulting in executive representation of 25.0%.

As part of our Racial Equity Initiative we committed to double the number of Black and African American and Hispanic and Latinx people managers, senior individual contributors, and senior leaders in the U.S by 2025, and as the report conveys we’re well on our way to meeting our goal, with leadership levels increasing year over year.

I would be remiss to close without recognizing the critical shift in the diversity and inclusion space, especially with the particularly acute challenges of the past two years. Diversity and inclusion is becoming even more urgent and multifaceted; in addition to the moral and social implications, it spans enterprise and business priorities. Industries the world over no longer question if diversity and inclusion is important but are instead questioning how best to support such a critical undertaking. Organizations are appropriately being asked to move beyond fleeting pledges toward sustainable commitments.

This past year at Microsoft has been about rising to that challenge, leveraging the power of our company to propel this work forward, first inside of Microsoft, but also in the communities where we live and work. Our mission is inherently inclusive, our commitment is consistent, and our focus is on the work we still need to do to make the progress we envision.

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