In a series of posts to Microsofts internal online messaging board, a female Microsoft employee has begun questioning the value of diversity policies at the company.
Quartz reports that one female Microsoft program manager is beginning to question the value of the companies diversity policies, taking to Microsofts internal messaging boards to express her feelings on the issue. In two posts, the employee criticized Microsoft’s diversity initiative calling it “discriminatory hiring” and stating that women are less suited for engineering roles in comparison to men. This resulted in 800 comments on the posts.
The post on Yammer, a corporate messaging platform operated by Microsoft, the female employee stated: “Does Microsoft have any plans to end the current policy that financially incentivizes discriminatory hiring practices? To be clear, I am referring to the fact that senior leadership is awarded more money if they discriminate against Asians and white men.”
In a later comment, the employee stated: “I have an ever-increasing file of white male Microsoft employees who have faced outright and overt discrimination because they had the misfortune of being born both white and male. This is unacceptable.” Microsoft officials commented on the post, with one stating that the company does not tolerate discrimination of any kind, another explained the diversity-based compensation initiative stating: “Our board and executive leadership team believe diverse and inclusive teams are good for business and consistent with our mission and inspire-to culture,” she wrote. “Linking compensation to these aspirations is an important demonstration of executive commitment to something we believe strongly in.
The post echoed similar sentiments from former Google engineer James Damore who was fired from the company over his “diversity memo” which also argued that a lower representation of women in the engineering field may be due to a lack of interest, not systemic discrimination. Google CEO Sundar Pichai wrote in a memo that Damore’s firing was due to “advancing harmful gender stereotypes in our workplace.”
Many employees are reportedly upset by the post by female employee, one employee who saw the posts commented on them to Quartz stating: “HR, Satya [Nadella, company CEO], all the leadership are sending out emails that they want to have an inclusive culture, but they’re not willing to take any action other than talk about it. They allow people to post these damaging, stereotypical things about women and minorities, and they do nothing about it.”