In a blog post, Microsoft's chief diversity and inclusion officer Gwen Houston argued that the decline had a lot to do with the 7,800 job cuts Microsoft made last year to trim down its phone business. The shuttering of factories, in particular, negatively impacted the representation of women at Microsoft, since the percentage of women working in those factories was higher than the percentage of women working elsewhere in the company.
Microsoft did see "modest gains" in the percentage of women employed in technical and leadership roles, as well as in the percentage of women being hired. The same is true of black and Latino representation—but the company still has a ways to go. One way Microsoft plans to incentivize execs going forward is by tying their bonuses to increased diversity in their departments. PM