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Microsoft (MSFT) Takes Initiatives to Curb Racial Inequity

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Microsoft (MSFT - Free Report) recently announced multiyear commitments to address racial injustice against African American and Black community across the United States.

The company will invest an additional $150 million aimed at diversity and inclusion (D&I) and aims to double the number of Black and African American employees at senior positions by 2025.

The tech giant will expand leadership development programs to empower select mid-level employees and managers from African American and Black community to aid them prepare for higher roles in the hierarchy, including promotion to Director/Principal. This will aid the company in ensuring diversity at leadership positions in teams at all levels.

Apart from workforce diversity measures, the company is also focusing on making its supplier base and partners inclusive to curb racial injustice across end-to-end business levels.

Further, the company intends to fortify accountability for improvement in representation.

We note that the latest move bodes well for the company’s ethics and work culture as it takes a stand amid the strong protests against racial discrimination and economic inequality in the United States post the death of George Floyd.

Further, the commitments will help the company in winning employee confidence, which in turn augurs well for its office operations and commitment toward employee welfare.

These initiatives are expected to boost Microsoft’s brand reputation and instill investor optimism in the stock, which currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Notably, shares of the company have returned 28% in the year-to-date period compared with the industry’s rally of 21.7%.

Efforts to Bridge Community Gap Gain Steam

Microsoft has been a frontrunner when it comes to promoting equality, at workforce, or with its products with an aim to democratize the benefits of technology for all.

In a bid to honor Pride movement, the company recently donated $250,000 to select non-profit organizations across North America, South America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific to aid their work on LGBTQI+ equality and racial equity.

Moreover, the tech giant implemented moratorium on police use of their facial recognition software in order to promote racial equity.

Cloud leader, Amazon (AMZN - Free Report) has undertaken the same step. Further, International Business Machines Corporation (IBM - Free Report) will no longer sell or develop facial-recognition software in an effort to curb racial discrimination, per reports. Moreover, the company has opposed the use of such technology for mass surveillance and racial profiling.

Meanwhile, Google employees are demanding to halt the sale of its tech to police departments. The employees have expressed their concern to Alphabet (GOOGL - Free Report) CEO, Sundar Pichai, in a letter.

With the latest initiatives, Microsoft joins the pack of other companies that are also taking strong stand against racial discrimination.

PayPal has recently pledged $530 million in a bid to support black and minority-owned businesses and communities in the United States.

Moreover, companies like Bank of America and Goldman Sachs have pledged $1 billion and $10 million, respectively, to address economic inequality and promote racial equity.

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