back to article Hey look! Microsoft's workforce isn't all white men

Fewer than half of all Microsoft employees are white males, according to the software giant's most recent census data. The numbers [PDF], which were published on December 18 and were first spotted on Friday by the Puget Sound Business Journal, show that white men made up just 47 per cent of Redmond's total workforce at last …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Lies, damned lies and statistics...

    Of course less than 50% of the Microsoft workforce are white men!! ....Microsoft developers, marketers and management drones are not human beings to start with so do not count as real (wo)men.

    The only real humans in MicrosoftLand are the ones in the offshore developement farms and custodial staff... and we all know that these have a propensity to have majority of "non-whites" ...

  2. Banksy


    Is it The Register's position that white men are not worthy of jobs and should be replaced post-haste? What is the ideal mix of gender and ethnicity?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: So?

      Exactly. And MS are no longer employing the pale faced, in order to keep the numbers right?

    2. Allan George Dyer Silver badge

      Re: So?

      With perfect equal opportunities, the mix would be the same as the mix of eligible applicants. The fact that one group dominates at the higher levels suggests that other groups are loosing out on promotions. The next question is why? - which is difficult for a subjective judgement of suitability for a job.

      1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

        Re: So?

        "With perfect equal opportunities, the mix would be the same as the mix of eligible applicants."

        This is IT. The % mix of elligable applicants is heavily skewed towards white and asian males. Do you honestly think that there are 50% women applying? Or 50% black people? Or whatever ethnicity it is that is supposed to "win" today?

        All we have is the current mix. Nobody has posted the % mix of elligable applicants for the entire history of the company, thus allowing us to make rational judgements about not only the current mix of applicants, but the current mix at the time individuals were hired. Senior positions, for example, require senior people.

        That your current applicant mix to the company's lowest ranks might have a given diversity formula has no bearing on how the senior leadership should look. By and large senior leadership in IT is white and male (or asian and male) because those are the guys that started the industry, and they're still around. So your most senior people are still going to reflect the imbalance of their times.

        If your goal is a "proper" racial/ethnic/gender/lifestyle/whatever mix then you're just going to hamstring your company. The goal should be hiring the best qualified for the job, regardless of any other considerations. And anyone taking anything else into consideration (such as race/gender/etc) should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

        Checks and balances should exist to ensure they can't take such things into account. That way no biases (either "positive" or "negative", depending on your point of view) can come into play. (In theory. There's always something.)

        Of course, if equality isn't your goal, then by all means, string up white males.

    3. LucreLout Silver badge

      Re: So?

      I'm really not sure how exclusively hiring black lesbians would improve Microsofts fortunes? The best person for the job is the best person for the job, no matter their gender, race, etc.

      Positive discrimination is just discrimination. Its time for the racists to stop collating these numbers as they're in no way relevant to either society, or commercial enterprise.

      1. ItsNotMe


        "I'm really not sure how exclusively hiring black lesbians would improve Microsofts fortunes?"

        Oh but it would...if they were married to Latino Bi-sexual or Trans-gender types.

  3. Arthur the cat Silver badge

    Of course they're not all white males in MS

    There are those nice chaps in Microsoft India who keep phoning up to tell me about the viruses they've detected on my machine. OK, they get a little confused when I ask them which of my IP addresses they are referring to, and very confused when I read /var/log/messages to them when they tell me to look at my event log, but I'm sure they mean well.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If you think you aren't to blame for all of the world's problems..

    Please run through our comprehensive checklist and think again:

    1. Are you white?

    2. Are you male?

    If you answered yes to the previous questions everything that's wrong in the world is *your* fault. Scumbag.

    1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

      Re: If you think you aren't to blame for all of the world's problems..

      Whoah. Check your privilege there, bro. There are so many other groups (Google "cis") that you forgot to cast aspersions on. You clearly don't even know enough about the trials of others to even know who to blame!

  5. returnmyjedi

    Putting aside the lack of gender equality, the data on racial diversity surely depends on the country where staff are employed. As the US has roughly 80% of its populace identifying itself as white, then their boardroom is relatively diverse (albeit with more penises, natch).

    1. Craigness

      Diverse != Good

      Do you want it to be equal (80% white because 80% of people are white) or diverse (20% white because there are 5 main races)?

      1. king of foo

        Re: Diverse != Good

        Agreed; I just want the best person for the job to get the job. MS could be 100℅ Orsimer for all I care.

        I always refuse to state my age, race, gender or religious stance on corporate crap anyway, and I can't be the only person to do so. No, wait, I did once claim to be an "other" (Green) woman in her 80's who worshipped the Devil, but that was just on my job application.

        1. Anonymous Bullard

          Re: Diverse != Good

          Oh yes. What are those "equality" questions about? If ethnicity doesn't matter to you, then why the fuck are you asking?

          What are they going to do when the a slice in the pi chart starts to shrink - start knocking back the more common in favour of the least? Take it into consideration when it's redundancy time?

          1. P. Lee Silver badge

            Re: Diverse != Good

            >What are they going to do when the a slice in the pi chart starts to shrink - start knocking back the more common in favour of the least? Take it into consideration when it's redundancy time?

            No, they pick the least compliant staff - those who didn't answer the diversity study.

    2. midcapwarrior

      The 80% number drops to around 60% when you exclude Hispanics who report as white are removed from the demographic. The number is also lower when you look at those under the age of 50. "Official census report, reported that 54.4% (2,150,926 out of 3,953,593) of births in 2010, were non-Hispanic white." It's from Wikipedia so take it for what it's worth.

      1. h4rm0ny

        In Europe people of Spanish descent are White. In America, the exact same genetics / appearance is not "White". Basically because they have Mexico next door and a lot of immigrants from there. It makes no great sense generally and even less from a scientific point of view. But that's America for you - got to have a racial classification. : /

        As for gender disparity, it starts in the schools. Young girls are culturally encouraged from a very early age to go toward non-scientific and non-engineering roles. It is not much fun to be the only girl in your Physics class (well, one of three iirc).

        1. disgruntled yank Silver badge


          rather than "the exact same genetics / appearance" I think you must mean "the exact same last name / mother tongue". I know US citizens of South American birth who make David Cameron look dark, and others whose ancestors clearly were mostly African or pre-Columbian American. Any and all can write down "Hispanic" on a form with good conscience.

        2. Oninoshiko


          None of it makes any sense at all. US or EU version. We're all human, the race and gender divides people insist on creating are just bullshit.

          As to the gender disparity, it starts long before school. It starts in the home, with the parents who get their sons lego and their daughters barbie.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @oninochinko

            "with the parents who get their sons lego and their daughters barbie."

            It's as if parents buy toys that their children show interest in and the tastes of boys and girls are different... Obviously it's not down to differences between the sexes that have developed due to evolution but because of white males and the patriarchy.


            1. Oninoshiko

              Re: @oninochinko

              Prarents start with the "boys things" vs. "girls things" before a child is old enough to show a preference. From the mobiles above the pram to to pram itself. Is there some influence of genetics? Sure, but I've known enough "geek girls" to conclude that a Y chromosome does not make you a maths hating princess.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: @oninochinko

                >Prarents start with the "boys things" vs. "girls things" before a child is

                >old enough to show a preference.

                >Is there some influence of genetics?

                Do you not think that genetics might have something to do with the behavior of parents when selecting toys for their children?

                >Sure, but I've known enough "geek girls" to conclude that a Y chromosome

                So even though their horrible horrible parents forced "gender roles" on them they still managed to beat the patriarchy?

        3. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge


          "As for gender disparity, it starts in the schools. Young girls are culturally encouraged from a very early age to go toward non-scientific and non-engineering roles. It is not much fun to be the only girl in your Physics class (well, one of three iirc)"


          I explain programming's about empathising - you have to imagine yourself as the computer and think what you would do. Although maybe imagining yourself as a computer is not such a big turn on.

          We might get more female programmers dragged in from the design side. IIRC my A-level art class had two boys (one of whom was never there and the other of whom probably went on to become a girl...) But you do need some maths for graphics.

          And I love physics with passion, but it was also the most boring science at school. I only stayed on to A-level because of pop sci books about Quantum Mechanics. But I can't see a way around the fact it's about ramps and ballistics and inverse square laws.

          (Oh and my art teachers were all men and my maths and physics teachers were all women. This didn't stop the gratuitous gender imbalance in either.)

  6. derfer

    Out of interest

    How many self-identified as Jedi?

    1. returnmyjedi

      Re: Out of interest

      Only two, there is.

      1. LucreLout Silver badge

        Re: Out of interest

        Only two, there is.

        That's the Sith. There's usually a lot more than two Jedi knocking about.

  7. Craigness

    Global and local, black and white.

    IIRC Google's survey was of its US staff, so their 61% white figure means they have a lot to do in order to achieve a proper racial representation (close to 80% of the population is white) and therefore avoid accusations of racism. If someone were to count the representation by religion they might find some uncomfortable biases there too. Microsoft's data seems to be global, but with their history as a North American company it's to be expected that a more than representative number of staff would be white.

    As for the number of women, it's likely this is caused by (primarily female) kindergarden teachers and pink toys (or perhaps because Lego doesn't come in pink boxes?): the number of women working in tech, relative to men, is actually higher than the number interested in tech at age 12. So there are obviously sexist forces keeping men out of the industry after that age, but something forcing girls before that age to adopt gender roles. Something must be done. We need another study. And more funding. And someone should address the issue of institutionalised sexism forcing men out of the teaching profession, as this might be the cause of girls choosing the wrong careers and thereby harming the cause of global equality (the matriarchy hurts girls too!).

    Have those congresswomen also raised the important issue of sexism forcing men out of the psychology profession and racism keeping whites from playing certain professional sports? I'm sure they would have, because they wouldn't want to appear either bigoted or just incredibly ignorant.

    1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      Re: Global and local, black and white.

      Too right. Although from what I can find the US's approximate ratio is 72% "white" therefore there are a disproportionally low number of white employees and with 4% of the US being Asian, their share of 29% of Microsoft's workforce is definitely out of whack. Nothing's straightforward though as around 9% of the US's population are "mixed" race therefore either of Microsoft's reported values could be out by around 9% as what is self-reported is not always the same as census demonimations.

      It's much fairer to ensure that staff of equal roles are paid equally, but even this doesn't work as those employed in expensive areas where the wages are generally higher than average would expect higher wages. It is much better to employ with equal opportunities, rather than a thoroughly retarded, backwards and do-gooder-bigot-serving "equal representation" which can only lead to octeganarian male pole dancers.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Global and local, black and white.

        > Although from what I can find the US's approximate ratio is 72% "white"

        Next time try harder.

        US Census Bureau (

        White alone, 2013 estimate: 77.7%

        Black or African American: 13.2%

        Asian: 5.3%

        1. midcapwarrior

          Re: Global and local, black and white.

          You should review those "facts". Those numbers would mean all others would add up to less than 5%. The problem is that several ethnic groups (Hispanic, Indian sub-continent, Korea, etc..) may show under any of the other classifications including white. The Hispanic population is well over the 5% level your stats would allow for.

          1. myyname

            Re: Global and local, black and white.

            The other problem is how those identify themselves on reports, without being citizens. ie: Visa status workers. I've seen conflicting reports (sorry can't find links tonight) over this.

            I've worked for a company that 'in-sources' staff from Asia/Europe to the North America region. Some stay for months, others years. When they internally tally staff, they look at the staff in the region at the time. However, the good ole US GOV only looks at resident status, skewing results one way or another.

            I bet if we look at Microsoft/Google/HP/Apple/Foxconn/etc, they all are dominated by their respective HQ population bias. That's simple sourcing of staff.

            I do remember seeing a similar report in our local paper last year, in regards to staff levels in teaching & nursing... surprise, skewed to 80%+ white female. Do we want those numbers to follow statistical #'s as well?

            1. h4rm0ny

              Re: Global and local, black and white.

              >>"I do remember seeing a similar report in our local paper last year, in regards to staff levels in teaching & nursing... surprise, skewed to 80%+ white female. Do we want those numbers to follow statistical #'s as well?"

              If there isn't some particular reason why men are worse at these jobs (and I can think of none for nurses and for teachers I think having both represented is important as we're talking about providing role-models), then the answer is "yes."

              There are always going to be variations in what an individual person is suited to. For both the sake of an efficient society and that individual's own happiness, we want them to be able to go toward the career that best fits them, not the one that is more common for their sex.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What if the U.S.A. isn't the center of the galaxy?

    What if we look at India or China? What percentage of Tech Mahindra (India) is black females? What percentage of Yonyou Software Co. (China) is black males?

    If that's a mote, I've got a handy stone.

  9. Will Godfrey Silver badge


    1. The best person for the job.

    2. Someone who helps 'balance' the company demographic.

    Difficult, isn't it?

  10. Infernoz Bronze badge

    Can this Polically Correct BS already!

    WTF is all this moaning and fake guilt for, just stop it already and concentrate on important stuff like maybe stuff which really makes peoples lives better, like abundance incubation, how to be less stupid, be more creative, and generally have a better quality of life.

    Humans (not fake victims) choose stuff for themselves quite often, and if the "do gooder" PC brigade don't like that, well they should STFU, grasp that they are wrong, stop with the incompetent and wasteful meddling and look at doing something useful!

    What we should be looking to fix is all the greedy and incompetent interference, tricky and corruption in the human social and business arenas by stagnant governments, N.G.O.s, fake Charities and big corporations, not all this utterly boring Frankfurt School 'victim' deception.

    1. P. Lee Silver badge

      Re: Can this Polically Correct BS already!

      >WTF is all this moaning and fake guilt for,

      Selling advertising.

  11. mark 177

    Strange Minority

    "Yet women are by no means the least represented minority in Redmond"

    Minority? Er, isn't the majority of the population female?

    Which of course, makes their representation in tech companies look even worse.

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      Re: Strange Minority

      The problem I have with all these percentages is

      For example,

      How many women want to work in the Testosterone filles IT Industry?

      My guess is a lot less than the percentage of women in the community.

      so having quotas base upon population percentage is wrong.

      Not sure what the right measure is though.

      1. yoganmahew

        IT as extreme sport...

        "How many women want to work in the Testosterone filles IT Industry?"

        Say what?

        This must be a different IT industry than the one I work in! Maybe if there was more testosterone, it would be more attractive? As it is, much of IT today is dull, repetitive, boring, process-bound, uninteresting, flatulent, did I say tedious already? The common foot-soldier of IT needs to be thick-skinned, thick-necked, work well in a cardboard box cut off from the world of social interactions for long periods, be prepared to take orders from someone who thinks they know IT because they installed an app on their phone and synch'd their email to it, be on call 24x7x365 and then be roundly abused for somebody else's code written a long time ago in an office far, far away when it breaks.

        Most women I know who started in IT have long since moved on to other (and better) things. Only the stubborn autists remain... some women and a lot of men...

      2. h4rm0ny

        Re: Strange Minority

        >>"How many women want to work in the Testosterone filles IT Industry? My guess is a lot less than the percentage of women in the community."

        I hadn't realized that testosterone was a contributing factor to intelligence. In fact, excessive amounts seem to have the reverse effect! And in answer to your question - plenty, until guided away from it at school age toward more "feminine" subjects. There's the real issue.

        1. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          Re: Strange Minority

          "plenty, until guided away from it at school age toward more "feminine" subjects"

          Bullshit. Women are not guided towards more "feminine" subjects at all. They simply make better judgements about what they want to do for a living and realise that IT is a pretty shit way to make money.

          As a general rule women don't make good drones. They're independent, they question authority. They work well collectively and the modern woman under no circumstances subordinates herself well. With those characteristics you'll have a miserable time in IT.

          If you want to work in IT you need to be a good drone. Capable of solving problems on your own, absorbing knowledge on your own time, but also ready and willing to have every single person in the company - from the CEO to the janitor - walk all over you all day long. You need to be ready to have completely unreasonable stresses and demands put upon you as a matter of course and be required to be subordinate, passive and cater to the egos of everyone.

          I know of no woman who would put up with that shit. They have had decades of having their own empowerment drilled into them and if they do choose IT they sure don't last long.

          IT is for delta males. Those who have spent a lifetime learning that their position in the hierarchy is at the bottom. Since males are naturally (and here I mean genetically as well as culturally) far more driven to accept - even require - a hierarchical command structure then men who have been taught they are the deltas are far more likely to accept it.

          The short version is this: with the exception of the massively specialised positions in our industry IT workers are the modern servitor class. Women have been taught their whole lives never to put themselves in that situation. SO when you do see women in It they tend to be very specialised and very, very good at their jobs.

          Good fucking luck convincing women to sign up to be part of the servitor class willingly. I think they rather enjoy working anywhere else...and good on 'em for that.

  12. pabc

    I'm a director a small (<10 people) scientific company and we are currently recruiting. I'm certain the policies I have in place mean we will get the best applicant for the job. I'm also bliddy sure google et al have pretty good policies in place to hire the best person presented to them.

    If* people think that having a workforce which statistically matches the general population then work needs to be put into sorting stereotypes right at the start of schooling. Remove the idea that girls don't *do* STEM / IT so that the distribution of 'good enough' candidates that hits the hiring managers desk is more diverse. Only then will companies have something to answer for numbers such as those reported here.

    Before this story I hadn't even [looked at / thought about] the gender split of my interview shortlist because it is irrelevent (it's 5:3 F:M BTW).

    * why is it more benifical for my business to aspire to sync my staff demographics to that of the public than it is to just hire the best people? If I currently had 6 men on the books and the best candidate was also a male, where is the advantage overlooking the man and hiring the next best candidate that happens to have a fufu?

    1. Craigness


      Are you sure there is anything telling girls they "don't do STEM"? If you spend any time looking into it you'll find there is far more encouragement (and grants) for girls than for boys as far as STEM and related fields go. But that doesn't mean girls think they "don't do social work" or "don't do paediatrics", or that they should prefer STEM to any of the myriad options they are told are definitely "for them". When it comes to the crunch, you can't make them do what you want them to.

      And why does nobody care about fields where men are underrepresented? Perhaps if boys were not told that teaching is "not for them" there would be fewer men in STEM. They're not told that though, are they? It's a myth just like "the idea that girls don't *do* STEM". What we need to accept is that boys and girls are different.

      1. h4rm0ny

        Re: Mythical

        >>"Are you sure there is anything telling girls they "don't do STEM"?"

        Yes. Speaking from personal experience. There is a *lot* of cultural weight and peer-pressure against going science and engineering route as a young girl. For many, it starts even before school and a girl who is into tech is seen as an oddity. Hopefully this is changing but we need to keep the pressure on to truly change this.

        >>"And why does nobody care about fields where men are underrepresented? "

        Anyone here saying we don't? It is a problem. The reason it gets less attention as an issue is because the fields where men are under-represented are generally lower-paid than the fields where women are under-represented so it seems more "unfair". But of all the people here arguing that women should be more represented in science and engineering I don't think you'll find a single one who doesn't feel the same way about men in teaching, et al. You're basically attributing a false position to people in order to try and claim some sort of inequality. If you feel you're not, then ask people here if they feel men shouldn't be better represented in other fields as well. The answer you'll get is "yes."

        >>"What we need to accept is that boys and girls are different."

        IIRC, you trot this one out anytime there is a story like this on El Reg,. despite obvious flaws in it being pointed out. Firstly, if culture wasn't a HUGE factor in career choice for men and women then you wouldn't see large differences in adoption of careers by gender proportion in different countries or historically. Unless you think that the people of India or of the eighteenth century are deeply different genetically (which obviously isn't the case), then culture is the only explanation for wild swings in the proportion of female engineers / scientists, male teachers, etc. So if culture is a huge factor in this, let's remove barriers to entry.

        Secondly, your understanding of statistics is awful. Suppose there were a difference in general ability between the genders in particular areas. The difference would have to be enormous to make generalizations a worthwhile basis to discriminate on or to show up in these sorts of proportions. Suppose (and this is for the sake of argument) that women were 5% worse at maths by nature than men on average. And that is a pretty fucking big percentage in biology terms, actually. It would still be much, much less than the standard deviation of the population. That is to say that if you took 50 men and 50 women, nearly half of the women would be better at maths than half of the men. I.e. it could not account for this gender discrepancies you see. To account for the level of gender discrepancies we see, the average difference in raw ability between the sexes would have to be enormous. And that plainly isn't the case to anyone who mixes with the other sex on occasion.

        Two fairly basic and obvious refutations of your "we need to accept this" position. Though I think you've posted this stuff before, iirc, so clearly you are reluctant to accept a change to your worldview even when supported by facts.

        1. Craigness

          Re: Mythical

          I didn't mention statistics! Boys and girls definitely are different, but that doesn't mean you should dismiss cultural effects, it just means you shouldn't ignore the fact that boys and girls are different. Can you do that? The list of countries where the gender split in STEM is most even are not in the free world. When people have more choices they are more likely to be influenced along gender lines. If that's not the sort of culture you want, then go to Iran (it's top of the list).

          Even if girls and boys are equally good at maths you'd expect more men to be mathematicians if women are better communicators and more able to use their mathematical skills in better paid professions. And that's what happens.

          Teaching and psychology are well paid professions where men are underrepresented. Medicine and Dentistry students are 58% female, Law students are 62% female, student vets are 80% female (The Guardian, degrees awarded in 2012). Nobody cares because it favours women. Refuse collectors are poorly paid and men are overrepresented there. Nobody cares because it favours women.

          "we need to keep the pressure on to truly change this."

          And the grants and encouragement which girls get and boys don't? It would be good to change that and treat people equally.

        2. Trevor_Pott Gold badge

          Re: Mythical

          "a girl who is into tech is seen as an oddity. Hopefully this is changing but we need to keep the pressure on to truly change this"

          Why? So they can have their spirits eroded by being the modern servitor class? Fantastico. I think you'll find they do far better at hard science than anything IT or engineering related. And - at least in Canada - they dominate such subjects today. Your biologist, geologist, etc are generally women. The IT nerds are simply those can take more beatings and poor morale for longer.

          "The reason it gets less attention as an issue is because the fields where men are under-represented are generally lower-paid than the fields where women are under-represented so it seems more "unfair""

          Most IT jobs aren't very well paid. But Nurses make pretty good money. (At least in Canada.) The upper range of the "best of the best" in IT is far higher than nurses, but the average salary (once you've lopped off the highest and lowest 5% from each field) absolutely is not.

          Women have way more advantages getting into STEM than men do. I just honestly think they're smart enough to not bother...unless they have a real passion for one of the hard sciences. Why we would want anyone to go into IT or engineering is a complete mystery to me. That's a horrible thign to wish on someone.

        3. Craigness

          Re: Mythical

          @h4rm0ny you are unaware of the enormous efforts to encourage women and girls into STEM subjects, so you NEED to read this article:

          It lists some of the industry, school, government and NGO programmes and encouragement for getting women into physics, where just over 40% of graduates are female, and also engineering. 40% of biology grads are male, so you should research for yourself the programmes for them, but I doubt you'll find any because nobody cares about men. The article goes on to assess the efforts made to get more men into teaching and finds there is close to nothing, but there are efforts to discourage those who would seek equality in that industry. You come across as being totally ignorant of the levels of gynocentrism and misandry in western society, so you really should read the article. It will help you.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Mythical

        yep. My 3yr old girl goes to a really fab nursery 5 days a week and she loves it. The one and only Male nursery teachers has just left. ALL the other staff at the nursery apart from the caretaker\odd job man is female!

  13. Chris G Silver badge

    I think it's only right

    That while considering the demographic representation of the population regarding race and sex, they should also include sexual orientation, age, religion and diet.

    So at the moment in order to be fair to everyone they must have a proportional representation of the population from say 16 years old to at least 65, members of the gay, BDSM, hetero and celibate communities, Buddhist, Shinto, Jewish, Catholic, Protestant, Shinto ( my official religion as I had to put something when I was in the mob) etc, plus omnivores, veggies,vegans and vampires .

    @ Nick Ryan I was considering becoming a sextagenerian pole dancer but there are no Poles to dance with here; they are all driving trucks in the UK.

  14. midcapwarrior

    Microsoft Diversity push

    One of the reasons for the push for diversity at Microsoft is the fear of the "everyone I know" syndrome that leads to poor decisions. It's the way decisions are justified with groupthink when those making decisions share the same background and experiences. In Microsoft's case the feeling is that leadership was insular and this leads to decisions that in hindsight seem blindingly obviously wrong. Like forcing Metro on non-touch interfaces.

    IMHO I more diverse leadership would be helpful in the FOSS community if only to improve the interface and aesthetic decisions.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Microsoft Diversity push

      It would appear that Microsoft's "diversity program" is really a means to get lower cost labor from other countries, not necessarily the best talent.

      When it comes to picking the "best" applicant for a position, does the person deciding who is the "best person for the job" actually know from an interview? Maybe, maybe not. In addition the values and beliefs of those deciding have a strong influence on the perception of "the best".

      Life is not fair nor perfect. Skin color, race, sex and many other factors enter into the hiring decision rather we like it or not. There will never be a 100% fair system though we certainly should aspire for equality. That does not mean hiring to meet quotas, it means hiring based on ability, compatibility, ambition, etc.

  15. Katie Saucey

    Come El Reg

    The only people who care about this type of stuff are the race-baiters (or gender-baiters) that rant on tumblr posts about how unfair the world is. I assume the HR department at most global corps. generally hire based on merit (although MS might have seriously screwed up with the win8 team). The rabid politically correct need to find a new past time.

  16. Mark 85 Silver badge

    These types of "reports" are meaningless...

    The Department of Labor Statistics requires them for some political correctness agenda. Yet, there's no verification, no testing, no validation. All the questionnaires have to voluntarily answered. If you don't answer the question, it goes into the "other" category. And as many here have attested, people lie on these things.

    There's still a question on many of these forms about military service. Most Vietnam Vets ignore it because of the backlash we had after coming home. Half the employers thought we all were drug crazed maniacs and the other half thought we were all stressed out and ready kill everyone around us do to the press and television drama shows at the time (Mannix? Rockford Files? etc.)

    Meaningless they are and meaningless they shall be. I put down "alien - undocumented from Vulcan". on my forms. And no one ever bats an eye or questions it.

    1. earl grey

      Re: These types of "reports" are meaningless...

      At least you didn't say you were from Melmac.

  17. Kriilin

    So what I want to know is this: How does Microsoft's, Google's et als' numbers compare to the demographics graduating from the required programs? I bet one would actually see a relative bias against pale penises. And if that is the case, why aren't more vismins enrolling? Work the problem back in time to get the real answer.

  18. Anonymous Coward

    Glass houses?

    "The reports have drawn criticism from various corners, including no less than the US Congress..."

    US Congress 2014

    Women hold 100, or 18.7% of seats in the US Congress...20, or 29% of seats in the Senate and 80, or 18.4% in the house of representative....

    Of the 100 women in congress, 31% are of colour......


    Center for American Women and Politics

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Half the story

    As an ex-'Blue Badger' (white, male) it is clear to see that the figures in the report only cover FTE's. If you add in all the 'v-dashes' the statistics will be a lot darker. Remember that in Microsoft the ratio of FTEs to contractors is about 50:50.

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