Microsoft's secret weapon

2007

So what is Microsoft's secret weapon in the battle to attract the brightest and best minds from across the globe? The answer, according to this Reuters feature, is cricket.

Mindful of the fact that employees of Indian descent make something like one in six of Microsoft's 35,000 workers in the greater Seattle area and that US employers now face much stiffer competition from the booming Indian software sector for top engineering talent, Microsoft has been working hard to offer that little bit extra to make Indian staff feel at home.

Part of this policy has been to back a corporate cricket programme – four teams that compete against other local teams. What's more, during the Cricket World Cup last March and April, Microsoft broadcast matches from the Caribbean via closed circuit.

But it seems that it is also Microsoft's female Indian employees who are pushing the growth of cricket – the Seattle women's cricket league has more than 100 members, around three-quarters of whom are from Microsoft.

As one insider said, there are probably more women playing cricket in Seattle than in the whole of India.