Developing a Diversity Program for Microsoft Company

Developing a Diversity Program for Microsoft Company



Letter of Transmittal




October 13, 2014




Dear Sir/Madam:

The issue of diversity and inclusion has proven to be significant especially in today’s society. In both social and formal contexts, people have attempted as much as possible to ensure that all persons undergo representation irrespective of their attributes. In this case, though, it is evident that diversity presents a key issue in modern organizations. Companies have attempted to design and develop highly supportive programs for varied people. As such, the main aim of this project to assess this specific subject by looking at the development of diversity programs for one of the most globally successful companies, Microsoft Corporation. 

I hope that you will consider my report highly.



Table of Contents

Letter of Transmittal 2

Table of Contents. 3

Abstract 4

Background of the Issue. 5

Problem Statement 7

Methodology. 7

Research Findings. 8

Data Results. 8

Development of New Diversity Programs. 9

Challenges Facing Microsoft in Diversity Program Developments. 9

Conclusion. 10

References. 11


The following document highlights the subject of diversity and inclusion in the modern workplace. Accordingly, the report utilizes Microsoft Corporation as an illustration in the development of diversity programs for the employees. In addition, the report provides an overview of the issue, the statement of the problem, the method used especially in the collection of data, and the results pertaining to the study.

Developing a Diversity Program for Microsoft Company

In overview, diversity assumes an imperative responsibility in establishing overall success for an organization. This is because it provides them with the capability of gaining the best possible talent irrespective of personalized demographics. Nonetheless, inclusion of disparate religious, ethnic, gender and sexual disposition groups within the workplace possesses an uncomfortable impact on some employees. By providing training and instructional programs on diversity, developing group dynamics and connecting diversity to success of the firm, employers can implement significant effects on the promotion of diversity as well as inclusion within the workplace. In the case of Microsoft Corporation, programs dedicated to amplify diversity and inclusion within the workplace can assist considerably in establishing a competitive edge for the organization. However, this may not be simple due to the presence of the company in different regions with dissimilar cultural and social backgrounds.

Background of the Issue

The word, diversity, is utilized to represent the manner in which persons differ in the context of ethnicity, age, gender, lifestyle, physical capabilities, and religion. Giovanni (2004) addresses diversity as any element that has the capability of differentiating people and cohorts, within which such facets can be either noticeable or imperceptible. Workplace diversity includes the nuance of this respective term within an organizational setting. It can be characterized as a setting in which workers possess unique elements and traits, varying from each other. These disparate elements comprise employee convictions, actions that differ based on gender, age, race, and physical capability, and values. Nevertheless, this form of diversity bears a wide myriad of disparities that influence interaction and the attainment of business outcomes in employees and the workplace respectively.  

In retort to the increasing diversity within the workforce globally, there has been an overflow in the implementation of particular policies and schemes aimed at augmenting inclusion, recruitment, retention, and promotion of employees dissimilar from the advantaged ranks of society (Turnbull, Greenwood, Tworoger & Golden, 2011). Most large companies usually offer some variant on the training of diversity for their employees, and as an outcome, numerous of them report a certain gauge of success (Burns, 2005). Despite this, it is impossible to ignore the limitations that may restrict such organizations from developing these forms of programs. According to Heffes, Orsdel, and Raab (2009), the exclusion of different persons from the spheres of the workplace has limited them from exploiting the opportunities provided to them in spite of the implementation of several policies and programs aimed at filling this deficit.

As such, the management of diversity within the workplace has attempted to focus significantly on the Human Resource aspect. In order to gratify the needs and demands of technologically progressive communities and societies, firms must concentrate on the meaning of diversity and the development of contemporary strategies for its management. Consequently, human resource provides HR departments with the ability to use employees for the success of the company. This involves the placement of strategies by employees aimed at satisfying the demands of the community via enhancements within the productivity of the organization and its respective performance. Hence, the illustration in this case depicts the strides made by most large organizations in developing diversity programs for their employees: an action that seems to be under consideration in Microsoft Corporation.

Problem Statement

Based on the diverse nature of the workforce nowadays, contemporary companies are focused on developing effective programs aimed at integrating the aspect of diversity within the program. Microsoft, as a corporation, has relayed considerable efforts within the institution of a diversity program. Hence, what forms of diversity management schemes has the company engaged in within the workplace? Secondly, has the diversity program been extensive enough to achieve satisfactory results for the company, in relation to the employees? Lastly, what improvements or recommendations can be implemented within further development of Microsoft’s diversity program?


The research used a survey methodology for purposes of investigating the development of diversity programs in Microsoft Corporation. Additionally, the research was devised as a qualitative study with investigations taking advantage of information available for assessment. In this respect, the study was mainly based on data gathered from secondary sources, which were assistive in providing information regarding the schemes that have underwent possible implementation in the company. Additionally, the utilization of secondary sources of information was positive in the collection of data regarding the program and its correlation to human resource management. Quantitative methodologies were ruled out due to the direction of the study. Undeniably, the amount of information attained solely from secondary data sources was accurate enough to establish answers for the questions asked within the problem statement. Therefore, the data collected was not subjected to other manipulations other than those found within the secondary data sources.

Samples of the data resources were used within the study based on the accuracy of the information they had. This is based on similarity of the results within each source. Consequently, most of the data retrieved was significantly correspondent in each case. Based on this, a sample of the data sources was utilized to illustrate the development of diversity programs in the participating company. Adding on, most of the sources used for data collection were company websites and peer-reviewed articles based on assessing the efforts made by corporations in facilitating diversity and inclusion within the workplace. Moreover, the sources utilized mainly projected current data, which was imperative in evaluating the strides taken by Microsoft in relation to the development of diversity programs. Lastly, a case study method was used to compare the data from the sources sampled. This was to illustrate the changing focus of the company due to the consistent alteration of issues regarding workplace diversity and inclusion.

Research Findings

Data Results

Based on the outcome of the research, it is evident that Microsoft is dedicated towards the facilitation of diversity within its workforce. Despite the large representation of Caucasians within the workforce (60%), other nationalities within the company’s population have substantially increased over the past few years. Aside from this, other aspects of diversity have also been considerably represented in relation to Microsoft’s campaign. The population of women in senior executive positions as well as minorities increased by 3 percent this year. In comparison to the previous year, the percentage share of both minorities and women within the company’s Board increased to 40 percent from 33 percent. Furthermore, women comprise 29 percent of the company’s global workforce, further illustrating efforts by the organization to develop more diversity facilitation programs (Heritage, 2006).

Development of New Diversity Programs

Aside from these outcomes, Microsoft has also involved itself extensively in the development of new programs. Part of the major reason for this is based on the expanding changes within the local and global population on a daily basis. One of the programs developed by the company comprises the Employee Resource Groups (ERG). Undeniably, through this program, Microsoft has focused on supporting its employees and providing them with equal opportunities irrespective of their different dimensions. By facilitating them, the company has encouraged the employees to provide exclusive aptitudes and insight, which have been highly beneficial in solving difficult technology challenges. Moreover, the formation of the ERGs has enabled Microsoft to focus on the different attributes that their employees exhibit. These groups comprise Asians, African Americans, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT), Cross disability, Women, Hispanic, and Parents.

Challenges Facing Microsoft in Diversity Program Developments

Nonetheless, Microsoft has encountered challenges in its bid to facilitate diversity within its workplace. Foremost, investing in the respective programs is a considerable effort for the organization. Accordingly, the company has injected heavily in to different programs made specifically to facilitate diversity and inclusion. In relation to this, the efforts made by Microsoft have also been subject to criticism. Despite representation of other ethnic backgrounds increasing within the current year, not much has been done to facilitate the representation of minorities such as the Hispanic considerably. The low representation of women in comparison to their male counterparts is also another factor that challenges the development of diversity programs by the company.


To this end, it is evident that Microsoft has engaged considerably in the facilitation of diversity and inclusion within its workplace. Currently, most organizations similar to this company have focused significantly on the establishment of similar programs in an effort to maintain a competitive edge in the international marketplace. For Microsoft, even though the efforts applied have been considerable, much still needs to be done in order to ensure that every dimension of diversity is represented amicably within the company’s workforce.


Burns, S. (2005). Diversity, inclusion program on track. Tribune Business Weekly, 16(28), 3.

Giovannini, M. (2004). What gets measured gets done: Achieving results through diversity and inclusion. The Journal for Quality and Participation, 27(4), 21-27.

Heffes, E. M., Van Orsdel, S., & Raab, M. (2009). Diversity & inclusion: A work in progress. Financial Executive, 25(1), 52-55.

Heritage, C. (2006). Microsoft: Innovation through HR’s partnership. Strategic HR Review, 5(3), 24-27.

Turnbull, H., Greenwood, R., Tworoger, L., & Golden, C. (2011). The inclusion skills measurement profile: Validating an assessment for identification of skill deficiencies in diversity and inclusion. Journal of Organizational Culture, Communication and Conflict, 15(1), 11-24.

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