A few Microsoft employees protested against the company’s inability to stop sexual harassment and gender discrimination as per reports of Wired. As per wired, a group of employees of Microsoft challenged the company’s chief executive, Satya Nadella, and Kathleen Hogan who is a top level HR of the company over company’s treatment of women at a Q&A session held on 4th April, 2019. The employees wore white outfits as a reference to the US congress women wearing White on Donald Trump’s address to the nation in February this year.
Microsoft who posted an email thread asking other fellow employees to speak up on harassment incidents at the company. The thread which was started by her on 20th March received reply from various female employees who shared their experiences on harassment and discrimination at office.
A few of of the employees showed their response, as per Quartz, one of the female employee said that it she welcomes what is happening. Although she never had to go through such incidents but a few of her colleagues faced this for a longer period of time. Another female employee complained saying she was called “bitch at work”, another female employee said that she was asked to sit on someone’s lap during a meeting when executives and senior management was present.
CPO at Microsoft, Kathleen Hogan responded to the email thread saying “We are appalled and sad to hear about these experiences.” He also said that such incidents should have never happened in the first place. It is very painful to hear such stories at a place like Microsoft. She also promised that anyone could come to her and complaint such incidents to her directly and that she would take concrete actions.
Such incidents are not happening for the first time
Microsoft has reacted like this has happened for the first time. However it is not the first time it is happening. In the past as well, Microsoft’s dealing on such cases of discrimination and sexual harassment have been handled casually. Even in the present time, the company is facing a lawsuit filed by 3 women who claimed that Microsoft has not done anything when they reported the list of 238 incidents to the senior management. Not only this there are a lot of employees reporting that Microsoft women employees are being underpaid and that their knowledge and expertise does not matter. Microsoft however has denied the claims of the accusations saying they are committed to equally treating women.
Microsoft saying that individual women can not join the case which means that they will have to file cases on their own for suing Microsoft.
I however feel that these incidents are diluting the image of Microsoft to a great extent.