Microsoft shareholders vote for sexual-harassment report

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella appears to be like on throughout a panel session on the World Financial Discussion board in Davos, Switzerland, on Jan. 17, 2017.

Jason Alden | Bloomberg | Getty Photos

Microsoft shareholders on Tuesday accredited a proposal asking the board to publish a report on the effectiveness of its office sexual harassment insurance policies in a uncommon vote of help for an activist initiative. The board of the software program and {hardware} maker had really helpful that shareholders vote down the proposal, but it surely obtained 77.97% of all votes, based on a regulatory submitting.

The choice comes a yr and a half after Microsoft co-founder Invoice Gates stepped down from his seat on the corporate’s board following a report that Gates had tried to begin a relationship with an worker in 2000, prompting a board investigation.

Like different massive corporations, Microsoft has additionally sought to regulate its workforce following the ascent of the MeToo motion, as some workers have spoken out about experiencing harassment on the firm. It has elevated the share of males amongst its ranks and fired some workers following complaints.

“Whereas Microsoft has carried out prior inside investigations into sexual harassment and gender discrimination allegations, it has did not report transparently on any impartial investigations to workers and buyers,” the shareholder proposal started, based on the corporate’s most up-to-date proxy assertion. “To keep away from authorized and reputational threat and keep shareholder worth, Microsoft should create a tradition of accountability and transparency, defending workers from harassment and discrimination.”

The proposal requested for particulars on of investigations on executives, together with Gates, in addition to the variety of instances the corporate has seemed into and the way they performed out.

Microsoft mentioned it had already made plans to start issuing reviews annually on its implementation of harassment and discrimination guidelines, an effort that it mentioned would largely cowl the gist of the shareholder proposal. That features particulars on the variety of harassment instances, the share of them the corporate can substantiate and the methods it responded.

Arjuna Capital, which repeatedly recordsdata shareholder proposals, mentioned that Microsoft’s plans didn’t go far sufficient.

“The corporate’s pledge to start annual public reporting on sexual harassment and gender discrimination allegations ignores the necessity for reporting on impartial and executive-level investigations,” Natasha Lamb, co-founder and managing associate at Arjuna Capital, wrote in a letter to buyers.

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