Saturday, February 8, 2014

A quick (fun) analysis of the crowd demographics at Microsoft CEO annoucement

Corporate Culture in the US is incredibile self interested and secretive.  Which is why we love We know employee cannot be fully honest, either because of corporate brainwashing or self-censorship.  But at least they are trying.

"It is difficult to free fools from chains they revere" -- Volatire

Also economics can be about using commonsense to figure out how to collect important economic data. In this case we use visual demographic clues to determine the demographic profile of a Microsoft development lab

Big tech companies are very secretive.  They spend millions defending trade secrets and guarding information (unless your the NSA).  This approach also spills over to HR and public disclosure.

So, when "the curtain is pulled back" you can get a revealing glimpse.  From these pictures, you get an idea of the demographics of the people who create Microsoft products. From a visual review only, we can see that they are male and young, with approximately 1/2 white men, 1/3 as

Unfortunately, when I scan the background crowd at Microsoft which was assembled for the announcement of new CEO Satya Nadella, I see only one visible black person beside John W. Thompson.  I also see very few women.

Picture #7. Gates, Nadella and Ballmer. Approximate demographic count: white men 30, white women 2, Asian men 6, black men 1. Note: Black person smiling in the rear next to two armed camera man

Picture #10. The new CEO Satya Nadella. This one is tougher due to blurry images. Approximate demographic count: 6 Asian men, 1 white women, 5 white men. Nadella is not included in the count.

Picture #11. John W Thompson, chairman of the board, speaks to the crowd.

Picture #13 below

This next photo is a gold mine so we will split up the tiers to help with the count.

Bottom Row: 17 white men, 9 Asian men
1st tier including glass: 20 white men, 4 white women, 5 Asian men, 3 Asian women
2nd tier: 7 white women, 5 white men, 4 Asian men, 3 Asian women.
3rd tier: 3 white men, 1 Asian man (including 2nd tier reflection)

Note: you wonder why the 2 floor is so much more diverse than the ground floor.

Here are the totals of all the picture counts

white male white female Asian male Asian female black male black female total
Picture #7 30 2 6 0 1 0 39
Picture #10 5 1 6 0 0 0 12
Picture #13 45 11 19 6 0 0 81
Total 80 14 31 6 1 0 132

Here are the percentage breakdowns

white male white female Asian male Asian female black male black female total
Picture #7 23% 2% 5% 0% 1% 0% 30%
Picture #10 4% 1% 5% 0% 0% 0% 9%
Picture #13 34% 8% 14% 5% 0% 0% 61%
Total 61% 11% 23% 5% 1% 0% 100%

Microsoft would argue that the demographics of the total workforce are not as skewed. (Yawn).

We would say, in 30 years, Microsoft has done little, to change the male (white male) dominated IT development culture and the pictures prove it.

Lastly, it is interesting to note that Microsoft must rarely assemble this many people since they have no large meeting room.

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