Due to employing 5,701 less women and 5,316 fewer men in 2015 when compared to 2014, Microsoft says that auxiliary layoffs are to blame for its 2.2 percent drop in female workforce percentages.
This drop in diversity wasn't a planned maneuver says Microsoft general manager of diversity and inclusion, Gwen Houston. Houston wrote that this percentage wasn't due to a conscious decision to slash female numbers, but due to slashing the "facilities outside the U.S. that produce handsets and hardware."
With these facilities employing a much larger percentage of females than males, the overall layoff of these staff help explain the widened gap. While the lower-level jobs have seen a slight drop in women, executive role percentages have remained unchanged and the overall racial diversity has seen improvement.