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Microsoft is tripling the size of its team investigating workplace misconduct

By Dave Gershgorn

In a monthly meeting broadcast to all staff today, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, flanked by many of the company’s executives, announced initiatives meant to address reports of workplace misconduct and harassment, the company confirmed to Quartz.

“I want people to point out my flaws,” Nadella said, a Microsoft employee who watched the meeting told Quartz.

Microsoft’s head of HR, Kathleen Hogan, told employees she had met with 100 men and women who have come forward about misconduct inside the company, a number Microsoft confirmed to Quartz. Hogan will focus on reforming five areas of internal culture: behavior, manager expectations, investigations, accountability, and data transparency. Each of those areas was also mentioned in a letter Nadella sent to Microsoft employees last month.

Microsoft chief legal officer Brad Smith also told employees that the company is expanding its Corporate, External, & Legal Affairs (CELA) team, which investigates these matters, from 7 people to 23.

The senior leadership team (SLT) now meets every week about this topic, employees were told, though a Microsoft representative notes that company culture has long been a staple of the weekly SLT meetings.

Microsoft leadership has been grappling with reports of harassment and discrimination since March. Dozens of women inside the company shared their experiences on a thread on Microsoft’s internal message board, Quartz reported in early April. A week later, Nadella responded with an interim set of changes that included more manager training and the promise of more data transparency in the form of an annual report with statistics on HR complaint outcomes.

The Microsoft employee said they believe senior leadership team is sincere in trying to make changes, but that “it does take time.”

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