Friday, April 1, 2016

Microsoft’s Build 2016 diversity report card - WINBETA

by Kareem Anderson 
Originally published: March 31, 2016

March 31, 2016 marks the end of Microsoft’s 2-day long keynote presentations for its Build 2016 developer conference. While Build 2016 will continue for another day for the actual developers attending the conference and breakout sessions, the main stage for Microsoft presenters and partners is effectively closed.

However, the faces and speakers who donned the stage at Build 2016 did more than show demos and weaved intricate stories for Microsoft’s developer ambitions. Many of them also helped add to the swelling tide of conversation and change around diversity that is slowly proliferating within the tech industry.

During Microsoft’s Build 2015, here at WinBeta, we noted the number of faces that bucked the trend of a traditionally white male populous that made up attendees as well as presenters at events such as these in the past. Last year, Microsoft made, what seemed like, a concerted effort to diversify their presenters on stage by not only adding women, but people of different ethnic backgrounds to represent the many faces of partners and employees that make up the Microsoft family. From having Office superstar Julia White on stage explaining Office apps on mobile to principle SDE at Microsoft, Lara Rubbelke talking code for over five straight minutes, Microsoft’s Build 2015 conference was an inspiring example for women in tech.

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