NEW YORK: Microsoft says the U.S. Labor Department is scrutinizing its efforts to boost Black employment and leadership at the tech company.
Microsoft disclosed in a blog post that it received a letter from the agency last week asking about the company’s June pledge to double the number of Black and African American managers, senior individual contributors and senior leaders by 2025.
“The letter asked us to prove that the actions we are taking to improve opportunities are not illegal race-based decisions,” said Dev Stahlkopf, Microsoft’s general counsel. “Emphatically, they are not.”
CEO Satya Nadella made the June hiring commitment in response to Black Lives Matter protests around the country and as part of a broader message to employees about racial injustice and promoting a culture of inclusivity at the Redmond, Washington-based company.
It’s not uncommon for tech companies to publicly tout efforts to increase staff diversity, given the industry’s longstanding dearth of Black, Latino and female workers in technical and leadership positions. But this time they are running into scrutiny by a Trump administration that has sought to intervene with universities and other institutions over their approach to race and discrimination.