Microsoft panel firms to earn diversity bonuses

Microsoft panel firms to earn diversity bonusesMicrosoft has introduced a pioneering ­financial bonus scheme to reward its 17 panel firms for hitting diversity targets.

The IT giant has rolled out a new initiative that will see panel firms such as Simpson Thacher & Bartlett and Sullivan & Cromwell opt in to one of two systems. These will see firms receive a 2 per cent bonus if they meet diversity targets.

Firms can opt for one of two formulas to measure their progress on diversity. They will get the bonus if they achieve a 2 per cent increase in the diversity of their teams working for Microsoft, or if they achieve a 0.5 per cent increase in
the diversity of the firm as a whole.

Microsoft general ­counsel Brad Smith said: “Diversity in our legal teams is a ­business necessity. We best serve Microsoft through a highly talented, committed, diverse and collegial group of legal specialists, working as part of effective teams.”

A spokesperson added: “Microsoft ;is ;not attempting to criticise the effort of the legal profession around diversity. We see this programme as an ­evolution of the many efforts that have come before us to drive for lasting long-term success and ensuring we see greater progress as a result.”