Diversity at Microsoft

Here at Microsoft you hear a lot of talk about diversity. You can get some kind of fluffy idea of what I'm talking about from the link, but the fact that is that by being written in corporate-speak it loses some impact. Let me try to put it into my own words instead.

Diversity rocks. The people that you work with day in and day out are not just really really intelligent, they are also different from you - in wonderful ways that you may never have thought of before. And a bland 'acceptance', hard to find in other places, well it's just the first step - this diversity deal goes much further.

We not only accept diversity, but welcome diversity, highlight diversity, encourage diversity. The result is an environment where creativity has room to grow, not just by setting individuals free of restraining rules and ideas, but by leveraging all the variety that's around to interact with. And it comes in different dimensions as well: diverse technical ideas, political views, experiences, places of origin, dietary habits, family lives, etc.

Ultimately, what I like to most is just how much this enriches my life. I spend most of my waking hours Monday through Friday at a job I love, working with people that teach me to look at everything from a different point of view just by being who they are. And there is room for me for being true to who I am as well.

Diversity rocks.

This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.

Comments (4)

  1. Skeptic says:

    Please reconcile this with recent comments at Mini-Microsoft (http://minimsft.blogspot.com/) by obvious Microsoft employees, albeit anonymous, alleging widespread racism/’reverse’ discrimination.

  2. McGurk says:

    Diversity doesn’t rock; working with talented people, which is what you are truly experiencing, rocks. Diversity says nothing about talent. It only says that you must have X percent of this type of person, Y percent of that. In fact, it is just as bad as discrimination in the way it functions to suppress the value of individual intellect/talent in relation to the particular group that person happens to be a member of. MS is one of those rare companies that are able to draw their talent from not just different regions of the US but from different countries across the entire globe. By hiring the best you can find, no matter where they come from, you’ll end up with a diverse work force. There’s no need to bow down to the politics of multiculturalism to achieve this.

  3. Didn't think so. says:

    Knew my comment would disappear down the devnull…

  4. Skeptic – I have not witnessed or personally heard any rumors about reverse discrimination. In a big company, it’s very possible that there might be instances of this (and I expect the parties affected to be the most vocal about this), but *I* have not personally experienced anything of the sort, and I honestly don’t believe that as a company we condone, much less endorse any behavior of the sort.

    McGurk – IMO talent and diversity are two separate things – both rock on their own, and they rock louder together. In this post, I wanted to convey a more personal thing on the diversity side – if my excitement about talent shows through, that’s an uninteded side effect of who I am I suppose. Some of the examples that I had in mind when writing this are an Australian who swears like I normally would in my native language, my American boss who manages to have a great relationship with her husband despite very busy schedules, a Chinese friend who likes to discuss politics and an Indian friend who gives me advice about my impending marriage. The points in common and the points in which we diverge just paint all of these relationships in wonderfully rich patterns.

    Didn’t think so – clerical error on my part – it’s been fixed. Actually, you were the top of my ‘pending’ comments, so thanks for pointing this out 🙂

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