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Does diversity include age at Microsoft?

by on October 7, 2014

Microsoft released its ‘diversity stats’ at the end of last week and these have been picking up press attention as here on the CNET news site and here on PC Magazine.

Most of the coverage seems to focus on the gender and ethnicity breakdown: there is a 70-to-30 ratio of male to female employees and nearly 60% of its employees are white and about 30% are Asian.  But there is little (no?) mention in the media of the age range of its staff.

So I had a look at the Microsoft website itself, specifically its section on ‘Global Diversity and Inclusion’. This is described as a new online portal that goes in depth into the numbers. And guess what, I couldn’t find anything about the age of its employees there either.

What I did find were the following series of Employee Resource Groups: Asians, Blacks, Cross disAbility, LGBT, Latino Hispanic, Parents, Women. These are exactly as they appear on the website and are clearly the meaningful categories for Microsoft in relation to its workforce, representing active groups within the company. There is also an Employee Network called Boomers at Microsoft but I couldn’t find out anything more about it other than it is one of dozens of such networks which are mostly themed around national or ethnic lines.

Eventually I searched the Microsoft news section of their website and found this link (you have to scroll down a long way) which gives a ‘reported age breakout’ of its workforce in the USA. According to this, the figures are:

29 or Under 10,532 17.1%
30-39 23,176 37.5%
40+ 28,048 45.4%

This gives an average age of 38.7 years. OK, but that was hard work. And I still wonder if Microsoft don’t think that age is part of diversity. As they say about the diversity stats, ‘more work to be done’.

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One Comment
  1. I think that you make a very valid point. Age needs to be included in the diversity stats for all companies. It is a factor in determining the diversity of a company. Thanks for doing extensive searching to find these numbers.

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