Microsoft is going to rethink its harassment policy. The approach to complaints about ex-boss Bill Gates and other directors is also being investigated and put into a public report.
Microsoft is investigating its policies and handling of sexual harassment and gender discrimination. The tech giant plans to publish a report on this by spring. It would also contain the results of investigations into harassment by board members and directors, including an investigation into complaints about co-founder Bill Gates.
Gates, long one of the wealthiest people globally, was kicked out of Microsoft’s board in 2020, presumably for having a relationship with an employee. The company’s board launched an initial investigation into his conduct in 2019, and after that investigation deemed his role no longer appropriate, The Wall Street Journal reported last year.
With the new vetting and the following report, Microsoft appears to be coming to terms with its past and reputation for treating employees. Shareholders already asked for such an investigation last year after the allegations came out.
A third party will be engaged for the law firm Arent Fox review. That company will, among other things, look at steps Microsoft has taken to hold employees, including executives, accountable for their behaviour, including sexual harassment and discrimination. The agency’s findings are first shared privately with the tech giant, after which a public report is prepared with improvements that Microsoft wants to make.