Microsoft investigating sexual harassment claims from dozens of female employees

Microsoft is looking into allegations of sexual harassment and gender discrimination made by dozens of women at the company.

In a lengthy email chain, women working at the tech giant have discussed instances of inappropriate sexual comments and discriminatory practices they experienced on the job, which they asserted had been ignored or in some cases perpetrated by their supervisors. The email chain was first reported by Quartz on Thursday.

The company confirmed to The Hill that Kathleen Hogan, the company's head of human resources, responded to the thread, telling female employees she had alerted leadership about the issue and would look into the matter.

“I discussed this thread with the [senior leadership team] today. We are appalled and sad to hear about these experiences. It is very painful to hear these stories and to know that anyone is facing such behavior at Microsoft. We must do better,” Hogan reportedly wrote.

“I would like to offer to anyone who has had such demeaning experiences including those who felt were dismissed by management or HR to email me directly. I will personally look into the situation with my team.”

Microsoft did not issue a further comment to The Hill on the claims made in the email chain.

In the emails, one woman, who said she was working as a "Microsoft partner" at the time, alleged that she had been "asked to sit on someone’s lap twice in one meeting in front of HR and other executives," according to Quartz.

Another employee working on the Xbox gaming system said she "had been called a bitch at work" during roundtables with other team members. She said she had heard people dismiss the experience as "just an Xbox thing."

"This is a Microsoft thing, a common one,” she added.

Another employee reportedly described how she was directed to perform secretarial tasks despite holding a technical position at the company, while dozens more described incidents of sexual harassment, some of which occurred in front of human resources personnel.