Microsoft Corporation is the world’s #1 software company (selling to both consumers and businesses), and also a powerhouse hardware company. Among its many products are the Windows operating systems, the Microsoft Office suite, Skype, the Xbox game system, and a variety of business servers.
According to Peggy Johnson, Executive VP of Global Business Development, “It’s exciting to work at a place where what you do can literally go out and be in the hands of hundreds of millions of people, and actually (be) impacting all sorts of areas: education, health care, philanthropy.”
Microsoft actively solicits new perspectives from its staffers via such programs as its annual “Hackathon,” which gathers thousands of its employees to work together on ideas for improvements.
Microsoft also runs robust programs for bringing in diverse talent. These include “DigiGirlz,” which has been encouraging high school girls to focus on STEM (science/technology/engineering/mathematics) for over 15 years. Johnson told us, “Now we’re actually hiring them…It goes to show that if you can reach out to young girls early enough in their educational careers and continue to support them, they will choose degrees in STEM, and then be ready to join tech companies like Microsoft.”
In addition, Microsoft has strong support for college students: “Interns come on campus for a 12-week program, and…they’re put on real teams that are working on real projects. So they’re very much integrated into the rhythms of the product groups, (getting) hands-on experience.”