Creating an inclusive culture: Microsoft Netherlands signs Diversity Charter

Microsoft’s mission is to empower people to realize their potential. The people who use our technology are incredibly diverse, so we aim to create a diverse workforce that truly understands their needs and can help achieve their goals.

Microsoft is committed to diversity on a global and local scale. In the Netherlands, thirteen organizations recently visited the Microsoft Netherlands office to join us in signing the Diversity Charter.

Representatives from the Dutch branches of Deliotte, Manpower, and Fruit Office, as well as Alliander, a Dutch energy company, and Hotel Casa 400 Amsterdam, attended the event. The fire departments of Haaglanden, Kennemerland, Amstelland and Ijsselland also signed the agreement, as did employment organisations UWV, SER, MKB. The Atria institute on gender equality and women’s history, and the Netherlands Institute for Safety, also took part.


By signing this charter together, we have committed to being diverse and inclusive organizations – not just because it is our social responsibility, but also to deliver better services to people throughout the world.

“Diversity is not a nice to have, but a need to have,” said Ernst-Jan Stigter, General Manager, Microsoft Netherland. “It is about taking responsibility. We are committed to this topic and are engaging with our partners and customers to do the same.”

Across all sectors, diversity in the workplace has been proven to result in more creativity and innovation. Employees are better motivated, working for an organization becomes more enjoyable.  In fact, research by McKinsey and Washington University  both show that companies with a diverse workforce are more productive and perform better financially.  So diversity benefits the company, as well as the people who work in it.


Microsoft’s approach to improving diversity is driven by critical mass theory: that the more diverse people we have, the more diverse people will want to work for us.  Our approach is yielding results – 37 percent of Microsoft’s management positions are held by women, and women are involved in the recruitment process for new employees.

But there’s still work to be done. By signing agreements like the Diversity Charter, we are reaffirming our promise to do better.

You can read more about Microsoft’s commitment to diversity here, and Microsoft Netherland’s accessibility initiatives here.


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