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Microsoft releases outside report on harassment and discrimination, pledges reforms – GeekWire

Microsoft’s Redmond, Wash., campus. (GeekWire Photo / Todd Bishop)

Microsoft released a 50-page report from an outside law firm that was commissioned to review the company’s sexual harassment and gender discrimination policies and practices after a successful shareholder resolution on the topic last year.

The report by law firm ArentFox makes a series of recommendations to revise the company’s policies and practices, improve transparency and feedback, and address what it described as “perceptions” inside the company that senior leaders are not held accountable.

Microsoft pledged a series of steps in response to the report, including a plan to publish an annual report on its sexual harassment and gender discrimination policies, “including the total number of reported sexual harassment concerns, percentage of those substantiated, and types of corrective actions taken.”

The report recaps Microsoft’s investigation into allegations against its co-founder Bill Gates, without providing new details. It also summarizes ArentFox’s review of a Business Insider report about several senior executives, some of whom have since left the company.

“Our review of the records relating to two of the executives suggests that some employees had a perception based on some degree of evidence that the Company tolerated their inappropriate conduct,” the report says, recommending that Microsoft “consider taking some actions that attempt to minimize that perception.”

Developing story, more to come.

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