Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Microsoft commissions third-party review of its harassment and discrimination policies

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Microsoft’s board of administrators is hiring a legislation agency to review the corporate’s policies on sexual harassment and discrimination after years of complaints of wrongdoing on the firm. The review, which might be performed by legislation agency Arent Fox, will embody a public transparency report “assessing the effectiveness of the company’s workplace sexual harassment and gender discrimination policies, training, and related policies.”

It will even embody an evaluation of Microsoft’s earlier investigation into allegations towards the corporate’s co-founder and former CEO Bill Gates. GeekWire stories that this review received’t reinvestigate Gates’ affair with an organization worker within the yr 2000. Bill Gates resigned from the Microsoft board in March 2020, and reportedly left earlier than Microsoft had accomplished its investigation.

The board report will even look at a number of allegations of discrimination and harassment that have been surfaced in an inside Microsoft electronic mail chain in 2019. Allegations of sexual harassment, tales about demeaning habits, and sexist feedback have been all highlighted within the electronic mail chain the place Microsoft workers complained the corporate didn’t take any motion in lots of circumstances.

Microsoft was additionally the topic of a five-year lawsuit over truthful pay that was initially filed in 2015. The lawsuit, filed by former Microsoft worker Katie Moussouris, claimed that the corporate unfairly discriminated towards feminine workers as a result of of their gender. Moussouris dropped her case in 2020, however continues to be combating for truthful pay throughout the tech trade.

“We’re committed not just to reviewing the report but learning from the assessment so we can continue to improve the experiences of our employees,” says Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in a press release accompanying the announcement of the review. “I embrace this comprehensive review as an opportunity to continue to get better”.

Here’s what Microsoft says its review will handle:

  • “It will lead to the public release of a transparency report assessing the effectiveness of the company’s workplace sexual harassment and gender discrimination policies, training, and related policies. This will include a review of concerns raised by employees in 2019 in the “In Need of Assistance” electronic mail thread, steps the corporate has taken to reply to these issues, and further steps that might additional strengthen these safeguards. The review will even embody an evaluation of policies, practices, and commitments to create a secure, inclusive work atmosphere.”
  • “The report will summarize the results of any sexual harassment investigations during this same timeframe against members of the Board of Directors and the company’s Senior Leadership Team, including the allegations that a Board committee investigated beginning in 2019 involving Bill Gates.”
  • “It will assess the steps that have been taken to hold employees, including executives, accountable for sexual harassment or gender discrimination.”
  • “The report will include data on the number of sexual harassment cases investigated and their resolution.”



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