Microsoft’s women employees are speaking up about the company’s culture.
It’s such a problem, that some women choose to change departments or leave. It’s an issue that continues to plague younger start-ups, but Microsoft’s elder statesman status means that generations of women have seen their careers stall or putter out because of bias.
A new report by The Seattle Times reveals the stark reality of the women working for Microsoft.
“The workforce of the five most valuable U.S. technology corporations — Apple, Google parent Alphabet, Microsoft, Facebook and Amazon — taken together, is less than one-third female,” the piece finds.
Of these companies, Microsoft employs the least number of women. Only a quarter of its workforce is made up of women.
The stories from the women interviewed for the piece may sound familiar to those who have heard the bad experiences of women working in other tech companies. Although Microsoft offers what is considered to be a generous maternity leave policies, women interviewed by The Seattle Times said they felt they would be penalized for putting family first.
A lawsuit is awaiting trial after women sued the company for discriminating against them when it came to equal pay and promotions. It may turn into a class action suit, where some 8,600 women working at the company in technical roles at the time may have lost $238 million in wages and over 500 promotions over the span of four years.
The Labor Department is also investigating Microsoft for potential pay discrepancies at the tech giant.
“My first week there I cried because I was the only woman [on my team]. No one looked me in the eye,” said one woman who joined the company in the ’90s.