Prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in hiring seems to make it harder to find candidates.
- A former manager at Microsoft—writing under the pseudonym Jason Mansfield—spoke with the non-profit Center for the Study of Partisanship and Ideology about the company’s internal DEI practices.
- He is speaking out because he feels that current hiring practices are making it harder to hire qualified candidates.
- “I became concerned about diversity and inclusion policies that required me to sacrifice what I viewed as the best way to serve the company’s mission, particularly as it affected work prioritization, hiring, and promotions,” says Mansfield.
- “I’m publishing this article pseudonymously because I fear I would be fired or many companies would in the future refuse to hire me for writing it,” he says.
- Black Americans represent 13.6% of the U.S. population but only represented 3.7% of Microsoft executives in 2020. That increased to 5.6% in 2021.
Why it’s important
Over the past several years, DEI practices have become a major factor in hiring practices and promotion for major corporations.
Mansfield claims that Microsoft’s publicly stated aims to address racial equity are affecting hiring and human resources at all levels and making business harder. He also claims that employees will only be considered for promotion if they write publicly available statements showing their dedication to DEI.
Mansfield spent months searching through external candidates on LinkedIn and the hiring process bottlenecked as qualified diverse candidates slowly trickled in. HR’s desire to improve diversity and inclusion slowed down several projects his team was working on as roles went unfilled.
“As a hiring manager, I was told that for any position to be filled in the United States I had to interview: At least one African-American, black, Hispanic, or Latin candidate, and at least one female candidate,” he says.
“When I began my career, I believed that the systems for determining who got a job or a promotion at a company like Microsoft at least aimed at an ideal of meritocracy. Now I believe Microsoft hires and promotes people partly based on their group identities,” says Mansfield.
“I fear that when large companies hire and promote people based on group identities, it discourages individuals from cultivating their abilities and ultimately hurts the corporate mission.”