A senior govt mentioned Microsoft Corp completely investigates points raised by girls within the office and fired about 20 workers final yr over complaints of sexual harassment as the corporate seeks to counter claims that it treats feminine staff unfairly.

In an e mail to workers publicly launched late on Thursday, Microsoft Chief Folks Officer Kathleen Hogan mentioned Microsoft had 83 harassment complaints in 2017 out of a US-based workforce of over 65,000 workers.

Almost 50 p.c had been discovered to be supported at the least partially following an investigation, she mentioned, and greater than half of these resulted within the termination of an worker who engaged in unacceptable behaviour.

The weird publication of such knowledge comes because the world’s largest software program firm is defending a lawsuit which alleges it systematically denied pay raises or promotions to girls. Microsoft denies it has ever had such a coverage.

The lawsuit, filed in Seattle federal courtroom in 2015, is attracting wider consideration after a sequence of highly effective males have left or been fired from their jobs in leisure, the media and politics for sexual misconduct.

Microsoft additionally investigated 84 complaints of gender discrimination final yr, Hogan mentioned, and located round 10 p.c of these to be supported at the least partially.

Earlier this week, Reuters reported on the contents of unsealed courtroom paperwork which confirmed that out of 118 gender discrimination complaints filed by girls in US-based technical jobs at Microsoft between 2010 and 2016, just one was deemed “based” by the corporate.

Attorneys for the ladies described the variety of complaints as “stunning” within the courtroom filings, and mentioned the response by Microsoft’s investigations workforce was “lacklustre.”

Hogan’s e mail on Thursday linked to the Reuters story and mentioned the numbers cited by plaintiffs had been deceptive.

“Stories that we not often attain a conclusion in favour of the complainant are based mostly on a defective studying of a partial knowledge set,” Hogan wrote.

Hogan’s e mail didn’t present extra figures in regards to the time interval cited within the courtroom paperwork.

The plaintiffs based mostly their numbers on paperwork disclosed by Microsoft throughout pre-trial discovery within the lawsuit. Kelly Dermody, an legal professional for the plaintiffs, declined to touch upon Hogan’s e mail.

Alaina Percival, Chief Govt of Girls Who Code, a company that helps firms enhance their variety of girls builders, mentioned publicly releasing this type of knowledge might help companies be taught from one another about the very best methods to deal with sexual harassment and gender discrimination.

“I believe different tech firms ought to observe go well with, and I might anticipate to see that occur,” Percival mentioned.

© Thomson Reuters 2018

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