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Microsoft Probing Sexual Harassment Claims: Report

This is not the first time Microsoft faced scrutiny for sexual harassment claims

FILE - Microsoft Corp. signage is seen outside the Microsoft Visitor Center in Redmond, Washington, July 3, 2014. VOA

An email chain full of sexual harassment claims by women employees prompted Microsoft to initiate an investigation into the issue, according to a report in the Quartz.

Started on March 20, the email chain contains allegations of sexual harassment ranging from sexist comments during work trips to being told to sit on a co-worker’s lap in front of a human resources leader, said the report.

“This thread has pulled the scab off a festering wound. The collective anger and frustration is palpable. A wide audience is now listening. And you know what? I’m good with that,” one Microsoft employee in the email chain wrote, according to Quartz, which independently verified the content of the emails with two Microsoft employees.

According to an account of one female Microsoft employee in the email chain, an employee of a partner company threatened to kill her if she did not perform implied sexual acts.

The employee said she had raised an alarm, but HR and the management did nothing to assuage her concerns.

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A man walks past a Microsoft sign set up for the Microsoft BUILD conference at Moscone Center in San Francisco, April 28, 2015. VOA

Another Microsoft employee alleged that while she was working as a “Microsoft Partner” – a senior level person in the organisation – she was asked to sit on a co-worker’s lap.

“As a Microsoft Partner, was asked to sit on someone’s lap twice in one meeting in front of HR and other executives,” she wrote, adding that no one objected to the demand.

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After dozens of emails had accumulated on the chain, Kathleen Hogan, Microsoft’s head of human resources, replied on March 29 that she had raised the issue with the company’s senior leadership team, and would personally look into claims that were initially overlooked by HR.

This is not the first time Microsoft faced scrutiny for sexual harassment claims.

According to a class action lawsuit filed in March 2018, the software giant did not take seriously 238 cases of sexual harassment or discrimination between 2010 and 2016. (IANS)

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Software Giant Microsoft Aims to be ‘Carbon Negative’ by 2030

Microsoft said it will electrify its global campus operations vehicle fleet by 2030

FILE - Microsoft Corp. signage is shown outside the Microsoft Visitor Center in Redmond, Wash.
FILE - Microsoft Corp. signage is shown outside the Microsoft Visitor Center in Redmond, Wash. VOA

Microsoft has set an ambitious goal to reduce its carbon footprint, saying that the company will become carbon negative by 2030 and by 2050, it will remove from the environment all the carbon the company has emitted to date.

At an event at its headquarters on Thursday, the company announced a new plan to reduce and ultimately remove its carbon footprint.

“While the world will need to reach net zero, those of us who can afford to move faster and go further should do so. That’s why today we are announcing an ambitious goal and a new plan to reduce and ultimately remove Microsoft’s carbon footprint,” said Microsoft President Brad Smith.

“By 2030, Microsoft will be carbon negative, and by 2050. Microsoft will remove from the environment all the carbon the company has emitted either directly or by electrical consumption since it was founded in 1975,” Smith said in the presence of CEO Satya Nadella, CFO Amy Hood and Chief Environmental Officer Lucas Joppa.

The company also announced a new initiative to use Microsoft technology to help our suppliers and customers around the world reduce their own carbon footprints and a new $1 billion climate innovation fund to accelerate the global development of carbon reduction, capture and removal technologies.

“Beginning next year, the company will also make carbon reduction an explicit aspect of our procurement processes for our supply chain,” it said.

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FILE – A sign for Microsoft is seen on a building in Cambridge, Massachusetts, March 18, 2017. VOA

The human activity has released more than 2 trillion metric tonne of greenhouse gases into the Earth’s atmosphere since the start of the First Industrial Revolution in the mid-1700s.

Over three-quarters of this is carbon dioxide, with most of this carbon emitted since the mid-1950s. This is more carbon than nature can re-absorb, and every year, humanity pumps more than 50 billion metric tons of additional greenhouse gases into the air.

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“We recognize that progress requires not just a bold goal but a detailed plan. We are launching an aggressive program to cut our carbon emissions by more than half by 2030, both for our direct emissions and for our entire supply and value chain,” said Microsoft.

“By 2025, we will shift to 100 per cent supply of renewable energy, meaning that we will have power purchase agreements for green energy contracted for 100 per cent of carbon emitting electricity consumed by all our data centers, buildings, and campuses,” the tech giant emphasized.

Microsoft said it will electrify its global campus operations vehicle fleet by 2030. (IANS)