back to article Ex-staffers slam Microsoft's 'lackluster' response to stacks of internal complaints

More than 230 internal complaints of harassment and discrimination within Microsoft were handled in a “lackluster” way by the business, according to documents made public yesterday in a class action lawsuit. The case was first filed in 2015 and the lead plaintiffs, Katherine Moussouris and Holly Muenchow, are seeking approval …

  1. sabroni Silver badge

    Ooh, who do you hate more?

    Micro$haft or feminazis?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ooh, who do you hate more?

      They have accused Microsoft of running a “common, discriminatory pay and promotions process” that is “unreliable” and “based on invalid criteria”...

      ...the plaintiffs claimed Microsoft’s investigations team is “notorious… for ‘rubber-stamping’ management”, while employees have “little faith” in investigations.

      Sadly, this isn't specific to Microsoft. This behavior is commonplace today in tech companies worldwide.

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge

        Re: Ooh, who do you hate more?

        "This behavior is commonplace today in tech companies worldwide."

        Actual discrimination based on sex: I have my doubts (consider the 'Google memo' from a while back - if there is ANY discrimination it is REVERSE discrimination against white heterosexual christian men, who typically don't whine because it's not "manly" to do so)

        Being sued by women who should NOT be promoted or given raises, because they were NOT promoted nor given raises: I suspect that THIS may be more common than not.

        The problem is that the court system and the legislation *ENABLES* "gold digger" types to FRIVOLOUSLY sue their employers.

        That doesn't mean I wouldn't want to see ACTUAL CASES of discrimination punished as hard as possible. It's just that I doubt it's REALLY happening to THAT extent.

        I call B.S. on their lawsuit.

        1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          Re: Ooh, who do you hate more?

          I call B.S. on their lawsuit

          We do so enjoy your insightful commentary which you, doubless, make based on full knowledge of the specifics of the case and the working environment involved.

          Who am I kidding? You have pavlovian kneejerk against anything that seems to involve equality for people you despise[1]. You couldn't be any more of a caricature if you added 'yee-haw' to every post.

          [1] Anyone to the left of David Drake by the look of it.

    2. Throatwarbler Mangrove Silver badge

      Re: Ooh, who do you hate more?

      Agreed, this is the thread where commentards' heads explode from cognitive dissonance. "Women! Microsoft! Women! Microsoft! For whom do I have more contempt?!"

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge

        Re: Ooh, who do you hate more?

        not contempt for women. Just contempt for gold-digger feminazi types, that claim discrimination and harassment where none exists.

        When saying "you look nice today" becomes sexual harassment, it's time to stop it with the bullcrap.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ooh, who do you hate more?

      Quite. Where are the comparable figures on how many men made complaints and what the outcome was? I suspect that they would be similar figures and that there is no discrimination in how they investigate such cases.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ooh, who do you hate more?

      That's a hard one! Both as faulty and bad for society as each other!

    5. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Ooh, who do you hate more?

      Or a 3rd category:

      People who label others with derogatory names in order to demonise, dehumanise and demean them.

      Take a look in the mirror.

  2. Outski Silver badge

    Perhaps this is why...

    ... MS felt the need to poach IBM's Chief Diversity Officer, as reported in El Reg previously

    (and I always thought it was spelt 'lacklustre')

    1. cd

      Re: Perhaps this is why...

      (and I always thought it was spelt 'lacklustre')

      That's how you spell it when describing Theresa May.

      The other way is how we describe our president.


  3. StevenN

    While it would be desirable for a 0.00% complaint rate, there will always be people unhappy with something or someone. So is a 0.03% (3 complaints per 10,000 employees) complaint rate per year good or bad? I don't know what the complaint rate with a near perfect organization is but it will be non 0 because many people are always unhappy and bitter about something.

    1. msknight

      I don't think it's too much the numbers of complainants in this case... it's what happened... or in this case, what didn't happen, that's more the issue.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      >many people are always unhappy and bitter <

      Especially wimmins when Aunt Flo is visiting!

  4. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Service Normal then?

    For a mega company that has more people wanting to work for it than there are jobs. Some parts of the organisation seem to think that if you can't take it, then walk as there are plenty more wanting your job.

    No one should suffer sexual harrasment no matter how big or small the company is but it does seem that the bigger they are, the more ********** ********* they employ.

    1. rmason

      Re: Service Normal then?

      @Steve Davies 3

      Another factor:

      The more successful the company the more those who do this sort of thing consider themselves to be untouchable because of their talent.

      MS will be stuffed to the gills with god complex, think they're a genius types.

      They will be used to doing as they please.

      "they can't fire me, I *AM* [critical project name or dept name]"

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Service Normal then?

        It seems you're assuming the complaints are well founded.

        Perhaps they are, perhaps they aren't but for the moment we don't know.

      3. Agamemnon

        Re: Service Normal then?

        I live in Redmond, I'm in the industry (clearly, enjoying TheReg forums), and do not work for Microsoft... I'm surrounded by them.

        Make no mistake, the God Complex and "I am the center of $projectFoo, I am Super Cool™" is rampant. I've had to percussively remind one or two that they're really not.

        I'm a UNIX engineer, old Net, from Silicon Valley, and I can tell you that it is just as bad there at Yahoo!, Google, and Facebook... While they're wallowing in their KumBaYah bullshit pretending to be enlightened, assholes are assholes, and corporate is corporate: We see again and again that the toe that gravitate to corporate are sexist (etc etc) jerks AND Corporate HR is there to appear to be useful. There Is A Process! they claim, because:

        It's all facade, and it's all about appearances.

        1. bombastic bob Silver badge

          Re: Service Normal then?

          "the God Complex and 'I am the center of $projectFoo, I am Super Cool™' is rampant"

          This became apparent OUTSIDE of Redmond with the release of Win-10-nic, following "Ape". I mean, what ELSE could possibly explain it?

          Consider the engineer responsible for 'The Metro' and 'The Ribbon' and all *KINDS* of horrible ideas, who happens to be a woman. They kept her employed there until late last year, even promoted her, but fired Sinofsky over "Ape" (i.e. the tiles in Windows 8). Go fig.

          If there was TRULY equal treatment, she should've been canned along with Sinofsky. Hell, fire the entire management team for coming up with Win-10-nic in the FIRST place. "In their own bubble-world", as I expected. NO clue as to what the customers want (that would be a Windows 7.1 that has minor improvements and solid design with no security problems or massive UI re-invention).

  5. naive

    Always the same

    Whether dating or hiring them, one often seems to either end up in jail or before court because they are whining about something. Slowly the wisdom of the profet Mohamed is like the light of the rising Sun in early morning, since his teachings prevent these issues.

    1. InNY

      Re: Always the same

      Prophet Muhammad, me old china. Wikipedia has an excellent article all about him; plus there's about 11 million links available from Google.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: Always the same

      "Slowly the wisdom of the profet Mohamed is like the light of the rising Sun in early morning, since his teachings prevent these issues."

      that's the first thing I thought of. Implications obvious.

  6. Terry 6 Silver badge

    Not listening to complaints

    Microsoft don't listen to complaints internally. Well since they don't seem to listen to the public, outside the company, why would they be any different about listening internally.

  7. Halfmad

    Going to be honest.

    In all the years I've met and worked with various Microsoft staff in the UK I don't think any of them (outside of receptionists) have been female.

    I'm usually the first to sigh and say "oh women's rights/pay gap/equal pay" but come to think of it compared to most other companies it's rather odd.

  8. Anonymous Coward


    Well, if the laydees don't like MSFT's attitide they can always start checking in code changes to the Linux kernel. Oh, wait...

    1. Agamemnon

      Re: #metoo

      Linus tends to be *completely* fair: He flames Everyone without regards to gender, gender identification, economic status, race, religion, distro. #Linux #EqualOpportunity

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As an ex-MSFT employee

    I actually thought that the female representation in tech roles was fairly good, and I saw no evidence of discrimination within my area - good people generally got promoted regardless of gender/race or anything else.

    Now the complaints procedure on the other hand was a farce. I saw several occurrences of highly inappropriate (in a business sense) behaviour get swept under the carpet with no consequences or explanation. In both cases the perpetrators are still there (or were when I left) and have been promoted at least once. It wouldn't surprise me if the discrimination procedure was similarly toothless.

    There were definitely large pockets of testosterone around (I guess every company has them) so I wouldn't doubt that many, if not all, of the complaints are valid

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