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Microsoft blames layoffs for drop in gender diversity

Blair Hanley Frank | Nov. 24, 2015
The company also reported a slight increase in racial diversity among its uppermost management.

Microsoft's hiring of African-American and Hispanic employees from universities outpaced the graduation rate of students from those groups with Master's degrees, but underperformed relative to the number of students from those groups who graduated with Bachelor's degrees in Computer Science, Computer Engineering and Information. 

Overall, Houston said that she sees Microsoft's diversity work showing signs of improvement, but requiring more committed work from the company. It's hard for the firm to make big changes in the proportion of minorities that it employs, just because of its sheer size.

This isn't a Microsoft-only problem. Many tech companies talked a big game about their diversity initiatives last year, and said that they had plans to improve their employee metrics. And then, they ran headlong this year into the harsh reality that diversity numbers can't change overnight for companies without drastic personnel changes.

 

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