Women in Microsoft have shared reports of sexual harassment by both co-workers and external partners who were often ignored by managers and human resources, according to a Quartz report.
20. In March, an employee sent other women to the company to ask for advice on moving the chain after six years without promotion. This led to dozens of stories of discrimination and harassment, which a woman is told to sit on another colleague or woman in a technical role contributing to a project limited to booking meeting rooms, booking dinner and taking minutes. Quartz confirmed the thread's content with employees of the company, and it has undergone more than 90 pages of email.
In many cases, employees say they reported the incidents to their leaders or to HR, only to have these complaints rejected or overlooked ̵
One respondent welcomed the thread and wrote: "This thread has pulled the shed off a festering wound. The collective anger and frustration are palpable A wide audience is listening now. And you know what? It's good with that."
Microsoft's Head of HR, Kathleen Hogan, responded to the emails on March 29. She said she would investigate the claims and invite someone who has suffered such experiences or had their complaints rejected by the management or HR to contact her directly.
The company issued a public statement assigned to Hogan:
I discussed this thread with the SLT (Senior Leadership Team) today. We are appalled and sad to hear about these experiences. It is very painful to hear these stories and to know that someone is facing such behavior at Microsoft. We must do better.
I would like to offer anyone who has had such degrading experiences, including those who felt rejected by management or HR, to send me direct mail. I will personally look at the situation with my team. I understand the devastating effect of such experiences, and the SLT will be made aware of such behavior and we will do everything we can to stop it.
As mentioned earlier in the thread, Lindsay-Rae (our largest diversity officer) will set up sessions this week on April 22 to ensure we hear and are ready for feedback, and decide which initiatives or programs to keep / stop / start based on input from this community. Invitations to these sessions will be sent to all women's community groups next week, will accommodate more time zones, and joining Lindsay-Rae will be Erin Chapple; Co-Exec sponsor for Women & # 39; s Community at Microsoft. While I want to create a forum for the community on the line, I also read and agree with the comments that for us to solve this as a company, the burden does not only offer us women.
While reading some of this is very discouraging, I am proud and encouraged to see people who are empowered to speak, say this is not right, and stand together for change. Thanks.
In 2015, Microsoft was sued by a female engineer for practice claimed to be discriminatory. She joined two women, and the three searched for class action status. In March last year, documents presented in the case claimed that 238 cases of sexual harassment, discrimination and underpayment occurred between 2010 and 2016. Of these, 108 were complaints of sexual harassment and 118 of gender discrimination. Furthermore, lawsuits claim that one of Microsoft's profits were found by one of the 118 sex discrimination cases. The plaintiffs argued that Microsoft's investigative team to deal with such complaints routinely decided that no corporate policy had been violated, even when the same team agreed that harassment had actually occurred.
The woman had hoped to represent a class of about 8,000 former or current Microsoft employees. However, they were denied class-action status in a decision in June, with the presiding judge saying they did not identify any common Microsoft policies that were to blame for their experience. This decision was appealed in January this year, with arguments being heard in either late 2019 or early 2020.