Microsoft is reportedly investigating a number of sexual harassment claims internally after multiple women shared their stories on a 90-page long email chain. Quartz is reporting that Microsoft’s Senior Leadership Team is looking into the reports, with an all-hands meeting expected to happen today.
Quartz also gained accessed to the 90 pages of email, where multiple Microsoft employees shared their stories of sexual harassment, as well as discrimination; most of the cases were initially overlooked by Microsoft’s human resources team.
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The stories are quite horrifying. One female Microsoft employee claimed that an employee of a partner company threatened to kill her if she did not perform “implied sexual” acts. Microsoft’s HR team didn’t take any action due to lack of evidence, and the fact that the man worked for a partner company. “I raised immediate attention to HR and management. My male manager told me that ‘it sounded like he was just flirting’ and I should ‘get over it’”, the employee wrote.
Another employee had been called a “b*tch” more than once at work. “We did a roundtables with the women when I was in Xbox core [team] & every woman, except for 1, had been called a bitch at work. Before people say this is just an Xbox thing (as I’ve heard that dismissiveness way too many times within Microsoft before) the other eng [engineering] orgs where my experiences happened were Windows & Azure. This is a Microsoft thing, a common one.” the employee wrote.
On another occasion, a Microsoft Partner was asked to sit on someone’s lap twice in the same meeting, in front of HR and other executives of the company. And once again, no action was taken.
Microsoft’s head of HR has now discussed the allegations with Microsoft’s senior leadership team, and it’s being dealt with seriously by the company’s top executives, including Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith, who are both part of the email chain.
It would appear that sexual harassment and discrimination is a reoccurring thing at Microsoft. The massive email chain first started off with an employee asking for advice about moving up in the organization after failing to see any potential promotions for 6 years at the company. More and more employees later shared their own stories, and they are all very identical.
It’s honestly sad to see such a big company like Microsoft overlooking serious sexual harassment cases like these. This also isn’t the first time Microsoft is under fire for sexual harassment cases, by the way. There shouldn’t be any excuse to any of this, and Microsoft really needs to do better for a company that claims to empower its employees.
<p>The "He said, She said" scenario should not be an excuse to avoid taking an accusation seriously. There's often multiple "Shes" abused by one "He" and a legitimate investigation would likely uncover that fact. </p><p><br></p><p>Of course dismissing inappropriate behavior as "flirting" or ignoring inappropriate behavior one has witnessed indicates a serious systemic problem.</p>
<p>The important thing here is to see the bigger picture: Even if some cases would be "He said, she said" and even if some cases would turn out to be false accusations, it still paints a picture of a company that's allowed these cases to pile up. They were not effectively communicated internally or to the outside, countermeasures weren't taken, unprofessional behaviour went unpunished and it therefore reinforced additional negative behaviour.</p><p><br></p><p>Empowering every person on the planet also means that you have to take sides and speak out.</p>
<p>Contrary to what some people here believe, the word "bitch" does have a sexual connotation and using it can be sexual harassment. Anyone who works at a company and thinks otherwise should review their company's policies if they don't want to get in trouble.</p>
<p>I've been falsely accused of sexual harassment. It happens.</p><p><br></p><p>The Smollett situation shows just how far someone is willing to go to lie for an agenda.</p><p><br></p><p>Women know in today's climate, men are guilty until proven innocent.</p><p><br></p><p>I was told growing up that women NEVER lie about rape. Ask the Duke Lacrosse team about that.</p><p><br></p><p>I'm not moved at this point to knee jerk an emotional virtue signalling reaction to any of this. To be honest, I'm pretty apathetic about it.</p>
<blockquote><em><a href="#418538">In reply to ebraiter:</a></em></blockquote><p>I agree with your first statement, but the impeachment of Clinton shows that "high crimes and misdemeanors" means whatever Congress wants it to mean.</p>
<blockquote><em><a href="#418752">In reply to AllThisEv1l:</a></em></blockquote><p>It's hard to take anyone seriously who talks about "social justice warriors". The fact that a lot of sexual harassment doesn't rise to a level necessary to involve the police, doesn't mean it isn't unethical and doesn't mean it shouldn't have consequences for the perpetrator. </p><p><br></p><p>Your first sentence is a bit hard to comprehend as written. You don't think there were actual allegations? As in "I said that I made an accusation, but I was making it up, I didn't actually accuse anyone of anything".</p>