Microsoft investors are calling for more transparency over allegations of sexual harassment following allegations against Bill Gates.
At the company's annual meeting, 78 percent of respondents voted in favor of a proposal submitted by activist investor Arjun Capital, which called for an independent evaluation of the company's sexual harassment proceedings, as well as a public report.
The leadership of Microsoft, which allegedly called on investors to reject the proposal, has faced criticism over the handling of allegations of sexual harassment against former CEO and founder Bill Gates by a former employee.
"The majority of Microsoft investors are now calling on the company to shed more light on allegations of sexual harassment. "The fact that executives responded so quickly after the vote is a radical change from the way Microsoft has dealt with this issue in the past," said Natasha Lamb, Managing Partner at Arjuna Capital.
"While the accusations against him Bill Gates "These are just the latest revelations on a long-term mismanaged problem. It is important that Microsoft now listens to its shareholders and commits itself to a transparent, impartial, independent reporting."
Microsoft has a heterogeneous history of dealing with allegations of sexual harassment in the company.
In 2015, Microsoft caught everyone's attention after its employees filed a class action lawsuit with 238 complaints alleging gender discrimination and sexual harassment. Three years later, the documentation of the group action was unsealed, revealing hundreds of cases that had not been settled by HR. Microsoft has responded with a commitment to better manage future research.
Just a year later, in 2019, an email-wide thread was released throughout the company detailing employees' current experiences with sexual harassment in the workplace. Microsoft responded with another commitment to reform its culture and publish internal research data.
Last year, Mr. Gates resigned from the company's board of directors after launching an investigation into his relationship with a colleague. Since then, there have been reports that Mr Gates, who divorced his wife of more than 27 years Melinda Gates this year, has had similar behaviors in the past.
Arjuna Capital has expressed concern that a tolerant environment for sexual harassment has prevented Microsoft from attracting and retaining top talent.
Source of information: cityam.com