Microsoft Claims Equal Pay for Men, Women


When Satya Nadella became Microsoft’s CEO in early 2014, he pledged equal pay for employees regardless of gender and ethnicity.

How’s that effort working out? According to a new blog posting by Microsoft, the company’s female employees in the U.S. earn 99.8 cents for every dollar earned by their male counterparts. Meanwhile, employees from racially and ethnically underrepresented groups earn $1.04 for every $1 earned by their Caucasian colleagues. (All comparisons are between employees with the same job title and level.)

“Breaking it down even further, African American/black employees are at $1.003; Hispanic/Latino(a) employees are at 99.9 cents; and Asian employees are at $1.006 for every $1 earned by Caucasian employees at the same job title and level, respectively,” Kathleen Hogan, Microsoft’s executive vice president of human resources, wrote in the blog posting.

As with many other tech firms, Microsoft maintains an annual diversity report. It’s also not the only company highlighting its pay scale: in response to pressure from activist investors, Amazon recently claimed that its employees earn equal pay, no matter their gender.

Even as Microsoft touts its near-equal pay, the company reportedly faces a decline in the overall number of women employees. In the 12 months ending in September 2015, the percentage of women working at the company declined from 29 percent to 26.8 percent. In a corporate blog post issued late last year, Microsoft pinned the blame for this reduction on “the restructure of our phone hardware business,” which impacted factories outside of the U.S. that produce smartphones and other equipment.

According to Dice’s recent analysis of survey data, gender plays no role in compensation for technology professionals when comparing equal education levels, years of technical experience, and job titles. Slightly more men (54 percent) express satisfaction over their salaries than women (51 percent); workplace motivation is also different, with a higher percentage of women naming flexible hours and telecommuting options as a top motivator, as opposed to “just” increased compensation.

“This slight variance in motivators serves as a reminder that each professional is different and responds to a range of incentives,” read Dice’s report on that data. “Beyond providing competitive compensation, employers must look at other key drivers such as challenging assignments and flexibility with work hours and location.”