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Microsoft to review its sexual harassment and gender discrimination policies

Includes allegations against Bill Gates.

Microsoft will review the effectiveness of its sexual harassment and gender discrimination policies and practices.

This will include a review into allegations against senior leaders, including Bill Gates who stepped down from the Microsoft Board in 2020.

A thorough and transparent report is expected in the spring of 2022 for employees, shareholders and the public.

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The news of the review was released last week, but the timing is intriguing in the wake of Microsoft's $70bn acquisition of Activision Blizzard, which is embroiled in an ongoing sexual harassment lawsuit.

The review is in response to an advisory shareholder resolution during the 2021 Annual Shareholders Meeting and will be carried out by law firm Arent Fox, as shared in a document from Microsoft.

"Our culture remains our number one priority and the entire Board appreciates the critical importance of a safe and inclusive environment for all Microsoft employees," said Satya Nadella, Microsoft's Chairman and CEO.

"We're committed not just to reviewing the report but learning from the assessment so we can continue to improve the experiences of our employees. I embrace this comprehensive review as an opportunity to continue to get better".

The review will include an analysis of policies, practices and commitments to create a safe, inclusive work environment; a summary of sexual harassment investigations since 2019 as well as data on the number of cases and their resolution; and the steps taken to hold employees accountable for sexual harassment and/or gender discrimination.

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