Microsoft to review harassment policies, including Gates allegations

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Microsoft said Thursday that it is beginning a review of its policies and practices regarding sexual harassment and gender discrimination, with plans to release a public report this spring.

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of comment: Microsoft says the report will summarize the results of any investigations into potential sexual harassment by board members and senior executives — including the board’s look at the allegations leveled against co-founder Bill Gates.

  • The inquiry is expected to lead to a review of how the company investigated Gates, but it is unclear whether any new details of that effort will be made public.

Running news:

  • Shareholders passed advisory resolution Last year demanded such review.
  • Gates stepped down from the Microsoft board in March 2020. In 2019, a board committee launched an investigation into allegations that Gates sought to “begin an intimate relationship with a company employee in the year 2000.”

how it works: Microsoft is bringing law firm erent fox To do an external review, noting that the firm has not worked for Microsoft on employment issues in the past.

  • Among the things the firm will assess are “steps taken to hold employees, including executives, accountable for sexual harassment or gender discrimination.”
  • Errant Fox will first distribute its findings and recommendations privately to the company, with management working out a plan to act on the recommendations.
  • The board will then publish a public report “documenting the review and its findings as well as management’s plans for enhancements to existing policies and practices.”
  • Microsoft says the report will include statistics on the number of sexual assault cases investigated and their resolution.

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

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