Microsoft opens a third-party review of its harassment and discrimination policies

Microsoft has engaged a third-party law firm to review its policies on sexual harassment and gender discrimination policies, On the edge reported. As part of that, the final report will summarize the results of sexual harassment investigations against the company’s senior leadership and board of directors, including former CEO Bill Gates.

The report “will lead to the public release of a transparency report evaluating the effectiveness of the company’s workplace sexual harassment and gender discrimination policies, training, and related policies,” Microsoft said in a statement. Press release. It will also “evaluate the steps that have been taken to hold employees, including executives, accountable for sexual harassment or gender discrimination” and will include the number of sexual harassment cases investigated and their resolution.

[The report] will lead to the public release of a transparency report evaluating 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” email thread, the steps the company has taken to respond to those concerns, and additional steps that can further strengthen these safeguards. The review will also include a review of policies, practices and commitments to create a safe and inclusive work environment.

Microsoft planned to disclose how it implements sexual harassment and gender discrimination policies, with a key request being the disclosure of executive-level investigations. However, late last year, Microsoft shareholders forced the company to write an annual report detailing how it handles sexual harassment cases within the company.

The review will be conducted by law firm Arent Fox and will review allegations of discrimination and harassment arising from an internal process. Microsoft email chain in 2019. In more than 90 pages of emails, employees claimed that they were harassed and denied promotions and salary increases, among other issues. They further complained that the company’s managers and HR department failed to take action in many cases. Microsoft was also accused of 238 cases of gender discrimination or sexual harassment in 2018.

While the board will review the previous investigation against Gates, it will not re-investigate the case that took place in 2000. Gates resigned from the Microsoft board in early March 2020. supposedly before the investigation was completed.

“We are committed to not only reviewing the report, but learning from the assessment so we can continue to improve our employees’ experiences,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a statement. improve.”

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