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Proportion of women at Microsoft dropped 7.6 percent in the past year

Proportion of women at Microsoft dropped 7.6 percent in the past year

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Microsoft today released its most recent diversity statistics, and recorded some small gains in representation, as the company claimed "nearly all racial and ethnic categories" were better represented at the company compared with the previous year. But, in a disappointing trend, the company also recorded a drop in the percentage of women working at the company, as that figure dropped from 29 percent to 26.8 percent.

Percentage of women went from 29 to 26.8 percent

The company, in a post introducing the statistics, called out a few positive numbers. The company's senior leadership team, at 27.2 percent women, is at an all-time-high level of gender diversity. Meanwhile, pending approval in December, "women and ethnic minorities will hold five of our 11 board positions," the company says.

Microsoft, to its credit, is quick to point out the drop in overall women at the company, pointing to its Nokia-related job cuts in July as a major source of the loss. That restructuring "impacted factory and production facilities outside the US that produce handsets and hardware, and a higher percentage of those jobs were held by women," Gwen Houston, Microsoft's general manager for global diversity and inclusion, wrote at the Microsoft blog.

"Even with this explanation, I want to emphasize that we are not satisfied with where we are today regarding the percentage of women in our workforce," Houston writes. "Our senior leaders continue to be deeply committed to doing everything possible to improve these numbers."

Correction: The original headline stated that the percentage of women at Microsoft dropped 2 percent, however it dropped by 2.2 percentage points. That represents a drop of 7.6 percent, and the title of the article has now been amended accordingly.