Microsoft May Not Have a Toxic Workplace (but It’s Definitely Not Healthy)

by Evil HR Lady on March 14, 2018

Microsoft spends around $55 million dollars per year on diversity and inclusion efforts, but that hasn’t stopped complaints of gender discrimination and sexual harassment. A lawsuit against Microsoft was filed in 2015, and on Monday new documents were made public. These show that out of the 8000 similarly situated women, 238 complaints of gender discrimination and harassment had been filed between 2010 and 2016.

These are internal complaints, not lawsuits or EEOC cases. These are complaints from one or more employees regarding something that occurred at Microsoft.

Interestingly, 118 of those were gender discrimination claims and the company only considered one to be based in fact.

In an earlier statement to Fortune, a Microsoft spokesperson said:

“Microsoft encourages employees to raise concerns and has numerous channels for them to do so. We take each concern seriously and have a separate team of experienced professionals whose job it is to investigate these types of allegations thoroughly and in a neutral way, and to reach a fair conclusion based on the evidence.”

If Microsoft truly follows this, it seems unlikely that less than one percent of complaints were found to be based in fact. Microsoft argued in favor of keeping this information confidential because they, said, if it came to light people would be discouraged from complaining.

To keep reading, click here: Microsoft May Not Have a Toxic Workplace (but It’s Definitely Not Healthy)

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Sara March 14, 2018 at 8:38 pm

Intersting article Suzanne. How about report AND move on? That’s what I have always done. I did successfully negotiate a severance after being illegally fired for being disabled, but other than that, if there’s a bad environment, I hit the road. I always try to address issues while on the job and as I am leaving. I will admit to being outspoken and that sometimes I ruffle feathers. I am working on that, but would rather be that way, than too afraid to say anything challenging or be a yes-person. What is your advice for successfully addressing problems in a company? I once had a boss early in my career who told me to choose my battles, which was very good advice.

I am so appalled that the intern at Microsoft reported her assault to management and the police (the absolutely right thing to do) and had to sit next to her accused rapist. WHAT? I can’t imagine the emotional stress that caused her. I hope she works elsewhere now and received a large settlement.

When an employee is brave enough to bring up issues to management, any issues, management needs to listen and be respectful. Yes, a small percentage may be BS, but we learn so much from our mistakes. As a culture, we need to start admitting to and resolving our mistakes. In a marketing class I once learned that you gain more customer satisfaction from successfully handling a problem than if you never had a problem in the first place. Obviously, you don’t want to court problems, but the world being as it is, everyone makes mistakes. It’s unavoidable.

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” — Thomas Edison


Camellia March 14, 2018 at 9:23 pm

I fought these battles my entire life, and naively believed that my daughter, who is now 32, would not have to do so. Now I despair, and believe that my 6 year old granddaughter will still be fighting these battles. WHEN will we get this right????


jdgalt March 15, 2018 at 6:00 am

You sound like one of those apologists who insist that false accusations of rape are very rare. All cops know better.


m March 15, 2018 at 7:14 pm

Are you a cop? How do you know better? From what I understand, rape is greatly under reported crime.


lns March 19, 2018 at 2:40 am

Sexual assault has a rate of false accusations that is consistent with the false accusation rate of every other type of crime. But it’s a crime where women are the primary demographic victimized, often by white males, so society has decided to make up its own statistics as to how many women “ruined the life of a man”, while nobody seems to acknowledge how many wimen’s lives are ruined by rape.


grannybunny March 20, 2018 at 5:19 pm

“Even if they determined that the woman was lying through her teeth, it’s unfair to have the male intern continue to work with a woman who tried to destroy his life.” Wow! While it’s correct that an employee who “l[ied] through her teeth” in falsely accusing a co-worker should no longer be employed there, this statement sounds like something coming from Betsy DeVos, who appears to place a false equivalency on the incidence of sexual assault and the incidence of false accusations of same. A bigger concern — it seems to me — in a workplace dominated, numerically, by men, would be that only 1% of complaints investigated internally are substantiated and there’s no effort to separate the parties, both of which suggest that such accusations are not being taken seriously nor objectively investigated.


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