Microsoft to revisit its sexual harassment & gender discrimination policies and re-examine 2019 board inquiry against co-founder Bill Gates


Ambika Bhardwaj

Published On: January 14, 2022 at 19:20 IST

Responding to shareholder pressure, Microsoft Corp. has recruited a law firm to revisit its sexual harassment and gender discrimination policies, as well as examine a 2019 board inquiry of co-founder Bill Gates.

The company said in a statement on Thursday that Arent Fox LLP’s effort would include an overview of the board’s previous investigation into the matter against Gates, as well as the outcomes of any harassment investigations conducted since 2019 against other board members or members of Microsoft’s senior leadership team.

Microsoft stated that the firm holds experience in handling matters of these sorts and has not earlier represented Microsoft in employment issues, nor has it done a massive amount of work for the organization.

A non-binding shareholder resolution requested that Microsoft to evaluate the effectiveness of its sexual harassment policies. Despite the company’s opposition, the resolution sponsored by Arjuna Capital was approved in November.

It followed reports that Gates had inappropriately treated female employees years before.

The law firm’s work will include an investigation of employee concerns expressed in a lengthy 2019 email thread, as well as the actions Microsoft took to address those issues. It will also look at the procedure that has been taken to hold workers and executives responsible, as well as data on cases examined since 2019 and their outcomes, as well as all items that were part of the resolution.

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