An internal e-mail chain has been doing the rounds at Microsoft detailing incidents of sexual harassment within the organisation. The e-mail that is more than 90 pages long, details stories by women employees of Microsoft who have encountered harassment and discrimination at work.
It is reported that the e-mail started circulating last month with some women —who had been serving in the same position without promotion for years—asking other women staff members for advice on how to eradicate this discrimination. Surprisingly, women employees responded in huge numbers sharing their own unpleasant experiences of discrimination and harassment.
Some of the stories are rather shocking, with one employee being threatened with life, and one even being asked to sit on somebody’s lap during a meeting! Apparently, no action was taken nor any voice raised other than the victim alone in any of the cases cited.
Following this e-mail chain, Kathleen Hogan, head-HR, Microsoft has asked the women who have faced issues to contact her directly so that she can personally investigate and rectify the situation. Post this e-mail chain incident, regular staff meetings are taking place, wherein members are being encouraged to discuss the issues and complaints revealed in the e-mail.
An alarming total of 238 complaints were filed by employees of Microsoft in a span of six years, from 2010 to 2016. Out of these, 108 were reportedly complaints of sexual harassment, while 119 were gender-discrimination complaints. There were also retaliation and pregnancy-discrimination complaints, almost all of which the Company found to be false, except one.