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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

Category: Employees
January 2, 2015 at 4:02 PM

Microsoft’s U.S. workforce 47% white males, diversity data show

Microsoft has joined the ranks of technology companies releasing more-detailed diversity data.

The latest takeaway lines up with previous impressions: Microsoft’s employees are predominantly white and male.

Non-Hispanic white males make up 47% of Microsoft’s U.S. workforce, above the 31% share Census data says the group accounts for in the country as a whole.

Diversity has been something of a black eye for the technology industry, with companies from Microsoft to Google and Twitter reporting workforce demographics that don’t closely mirror the makeup of their customers or society at large. Companies have taken particular criticism for a lack of women in leadership roles, and black and Hispanic headcounts that rarely stray from the low single digits.

Microsoft Chief Executive Satya Nadella pledged at the company’s shareholders’ meeting last month to release the company’s EEO-1 report, the diversity survey companies are required to report to the federal government. Disclosing the data was among the slate of requests the Rev. Jesse Jackson made during the civil rights leader’s recent tour through the Northwest to promote a more diverse technology industry workforce.


Comments | More in Employees | Topics: diversity, microsoft, satya nadella

June 22, 2009 at 10:40 AM

“Microsoft subsidy bill” passes in WA state for children of H-1B visa holders

My Seattle Times colleague Lornet Turnbull wrote a story today about a “Microsoft subsidy bill” that the Washington state legislature passed granting in-state tuition rates for children of foreign professionals. It was dubbed the Microsoft subsidy bill because most of the beneficiaries are children of Microsoft workers who came to Washington state under H-1B visas. According…


Comments | More in Employees, India, Microsoft, Public policy & issues, Recruiting

April 13, 2009 at 12:48 PM

Free Microsoft software training for 30,000 in Washington state

Microsoft will offer 30,000 vouchers for free software training to help people in Washington get learn how to use Microsoft software. Gov. Chris Gregoire and Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith made the announcement this morning at a press conference at the YWCA Opportunity Place in downtown Seattle. Microsoft first announced its job training program, Elevate…


Comments | More in Employees, Microsoft layoffs, Search, Yahoo

March 17, 2009 at 11:08 AM

Computer science enrollment rebounds nationally and at UW

After reading yesterday’s New York Times report on increasing enrollment in the nation’s computer science programs, I pinged Ed Lazowska at the University of Washington to see what’s happening there.

“Our numbers are in fact much stronger than the national numbers,” he said via e-mail, introducing the chart below, which plots rolling enrollment in the UW’s introductory computer science course over the last four and a half years. (Incidentally, the data was compiled earlier this year at the request of Google.)

UWCSE enrollment.JPG

Lazowska added this perspective on the UW’s undergraduate programs:


Comments | More in Employees, Public policy & issues, Recruiting, Tech Economy

March 3, 2009 at 6:01 PM

Microsoft vendors and contingent workers total more than 79,000, on top of direct employees

It’s widely known that Microsoft has a large contingent work force in addition to its 96,000 direct, regular employees worldwide. But the company has never publicly quantified these workers, who typically work through third-party firms and do everything from mow the lawns to write software. According to numbers reviewed by The Seattle Times, Microsoft has roughly…


Comments | More in Contractors, Corporate organization, Employees, Microsoft layoffs