Microsoft, Other Tech Companies Top List of Most Diverse Workplaces

Tech companies have struggled for years to make their workforces more inclusive and diverse, sometimes with mixed results. However, a new listing by Fortune suggests these companies’ diversity initiatives are actually having an impact. 

Fortune’s list of the 20 companies with the best “diversity and inclusion numbers” is topped by Microsoft and includes three tech companies: Microsoft, Intel, and Amazon. The magazine utilized 14 metrics for its list, including data from Measure Up, its partnership with Refinitiv that asks companies to self-report their racial and ethnic diversity data. Here’s the full breakdown:

Like many tech companies, Microsoft has poured considerable resources into diversifying its workforce over the past several years, although it’s still trying to make up ground in key segments; for example, some 28.6 percent of its employees were women in 2020. The company has advocated aggressively for industry-wide change, particularly in segments such as video-game development

Despite the work by some companies, though, perceptions of inequality remain throughout the tech industry. According to Dice’s Equality in Tech Report, for example, some 35 percent of women reported dissatisfaction with their current compensation, and 49 percent of women reported feeling underpaid relative to their male counterparts. The Equality in Tech Report also found a majority of technologists thought it was “extremely important” their company change its policies to foster more racial diversity; most respondents also stated it’s “extremely important” a company have a good reputation for diversity, equity, and inclusion. 

When it comes to things like salary, transparency is vital. When it comes to diversifying workforces, though, the answer is far more complicated. It’s key for companies to adopt a holistic long-term strategy that potentially retools everything from hiring practices to annual reviews, rather than implementing a few (often symbolic) policies.