Microsoft has released its latest report on global workforce, offering a snapshot of the company’s gender and racial composition as of 30 September, 2016.
According to the new numbers, women made up 25.8 percent of the workforce, which is a decline of one percent from the previous year. It should be noted that in 2014, 29 percent Microsoft employees were women. Just like other tech giant, Microsoft is struggling with gender diversity, and these numbers put it behind arch-rivals Apple and Google and even Facebook. All three now have reported women employees accounting to 30 percent or more.
Microsoft blames it on the layoffs that began as a part of restructuring at Nokia factories, which according to Microsoft had a higher number of representation from women. “This decline was largely due to the business decision we shared last year to restructure our phone hardware business (Sharpening Our Focus), which resulted in the closure of some factories (which we refer to as “direct production”) outside the US. The workforce at these factories had a higher representation of women, so their closure impacted our total representation of women,” Microsoft writes in a blogpost.
While overall the numbers have declined, there seems to be some hop for future. “While we are disappointed in the overall decline in the representation of women at the company, we know why it happened. 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,” Microsoft writes.
However, the company says that outside of the direct production work, the percentage of women at Microsoft has actually increased by 0.4 percentage points. The blogpost further goes on to explain that the representation of women in technical roles and women leadership roles also increased by 0.6 percentage points, each. Microsoft also talks about hiring trends. the company said that this past year, women represented 27.7 percent of all new employees and 21.7 percent of all new employees in technical jobs.
The company also revealed modest gains in the representation of African Americans/Black and Hispanic/Latino employees at Microsoft.  Know more here. The company has said that it will work at creating and delivering compelling career development offerings for women and racial/ethnic minorities.