Microsoft Boosts Black Managers, Slower Progress for Latinx

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Microsoft Corp., which one year ago promised to double the number of Black and Latinx managers and executives by 2025, reported progress in hiring and promoting Black leaders and slower gains among Latinx leaders.

The fastest growth came among more junior managers -- those below director level -- where Microsoft said it’s 64% of the way to its 2025 goal for Black and African American employees who manage other people, according to a report released Monday. Above the director level, counting managers and individual contributors, the company said it’s 36% of the way to the goal.

Progress was slower among Hispanic and Latinx leaders where Microsoft said it has reached 21% of the goal for people managers below director level and 20% for managers and contributors above the director level.

Microsoft hasn’t disclosed numbers for any of the categories so it isn’t clear what a doubling of the groups would mean in terms of total employees or a percentage of total executives. The company said last year that it will expand its leadership development program at lower rungs of its management structure in order to prepare more employees for advancement. It will also strengthen measures to hold vice presidents and general managers accountable for diversity goals when determining compensation and promotions.

The software maker’s most recent diversity report, issued in October 2020, showed very modest gains in Black and Latinx representation. Black employees accounted for 4.9% of Microsoft’s U.S. workforce, an increase of 0.3% from a year earlier. Latinx employees also increased at the same rate, to 6.6% of the company’s U.S. workforce. Among executive, manager and director ranks, the numbers were even lower.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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