Microsoft says it is changing its policies around sexual harassment following an investigation. The company hired law firm ArentFox Schiff to look into previous sexual harassment policies. That evaluation was in response to concerns over discrimination and sexual misconduct. Microsoft now says it is implementing changes in response to the report findings.
Those improvements will be in place by June 30, 2023, the end of Microsoft's fiscal year.
ArentFox Schiff published a 50-page report that had recommendations for Microsoft. Now, the company with putting them in place. In a Microsoft blog post, the company says it will release an annual report to update on its gender discrimination and sexual harassment policies.
That will include highlighting incident reports and the actions Microsoft took in response to them.
“Cultivating a culture where everyone is empowered to do meaningful work and can thrive is our greatest responsibility at Microsoft,” said Satya Nadella, Chairman and CEO, of Microsoft.
“The Board of Directors has taken this investigation seriously and the resulting comprehensive report outlines important areas where we can continue to improve, as well as progress we've made. The Board of Directors and our senior leaders are fully committed to this implementation plan as we continually work to close the gap between our espoused culture and the lived experience of our employees.”
Bill Gates Investigation
In the report, ArentFox Schiff specifically discusses allegations made against Microsoft founder and former CEO Bill Gates. He is rumored to have had an affair with a female employee that he says was consensual. However, Gates left Microsoft in 2020 with reports suggesting the board pushed him into the decision before the investigation was over.
For its wider improvement plan, Microsoft says the following changes will be made:
- Comprehensive policy review
- Targeted policy revisions
- Broaden awareness of legal rights
- Reinforce policies and expand training
- Investigation survey
- Post-investigation action and employee experience
- Leadership accountability
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