Introduction Microsoft

Introduction

Microsoft, founded in 1975, is the worldwide leader in software, services, devices and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential. Bill Gates converted basic popular mainframe computer programming language, for use on an early personal computer (PC), the Altair. Microsoft Corporation is a multinational software firm and is headquartered in Redmond, Washington. Microsoft has dramatically expanded its electronic publishing division, created in 1985 and already notable for the success of its multimedia encyclopedia, Encarta. The Company offers operating system software, server application software, business and consumer applications software, software development tools, and Internet and intranet software.
Microsoft also develops video game consoles and digital music entertainment devices. It also entered the information services and entertainment industries with a wide range of products and services, most notably the Microsoft Network and MSNBC (a joint venture with the National Broadcasting Company, a major American television network). Microsoft Corporation is engaged in developing, supporting and licensing a wide variety of software products and services. It is also known for designing, selling hardware and delivering online advertising to all its customers. Microsoft operates 5 segments, Windows Division, Online Servers Division, Server and Tools, Entertainment and Devices Division and Microsoft Business Division for phones, servers, computers and other devices.

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Problem
Microsoft has had several complaints from former female employees who allege that the company routinely held back women in its workforce by denying raises and promotions. Microsoft’s company-wide policies and practices systematically violate female technical employees’ rights and result in the unchecked gender bias that pervades its corporate culture. The disadvantage to female technical employees is pay and promotion is not isolated or exceptional, but rather the regular and predictable result of Microsoft’s policies and practices and lack of proper accountability measures to ensure fairness. It is reported that Microsoft reported that women comprise 29.1 percent of its workforce, but only 16.6 percent work in technical positions and just 23 percent hold leadership roles. (Zachary, Hall, 2016)
Microsoft’s workforce is 76% male. The lack of diversity is even more apparent at the executive level, which is 88% male. (O’Brien, S, 2015). Microsoft systematically paid and promoted female technical employees less than men. One female employee complained of discrimination at Microsoft. She alleged that female technical employees like her earned less than similarly qualified men because of gender bias. Women are underrepresented in technical jobs at Microsoft overall, At the four lowest levels, they are around 20% of the workforce; at level 67, the highest at which is found a pay disparity, they are only 6.7% of the workforce. In addition, it’s possible that there are fewer pay disparities at the top because there are simply fewer women there. The top three technical levels are 100% male. The women said their expert consultants have determined that discrimination at Microsoft Corporation cost female employees more than 500 promotions and $100 million to $238 million in pay “an abusive, toxic ‘boys club’ atmosphere, where women are ignored, abused, or degraded.” (Robert, B, 2017)
Literature Review
. Microsoft systematically paid and promoted some female technical employees less than men, a report commissioned by the plaintiffs in a gender discrimination lawsuit against the company has found. One female employee complained of discrimination at Microsoft. She alleged that female technical employees like her earned less than similarly qualified men because of gender bias. She also claimed that the company promoted men over equally or more qualified women and that its managers gave woman lower performance reviews compared with their male peers. Women are underrepresented in technical jobs at Microsoft overall, At the four lowest levels, they are around 20% of the workforce; at level 67, the highest at which is found a pay disparity, they are only 6.7% of the workforce. In addition, it’s possible
Women are also more likely to be judged by their looks and how they dress than are their male counterparts. On a note of contradiction, women are not only discriminated against for being “pretty” or “provocative” they are also discriminated against for being not pretty enough, too old, or, in some positions (especially sales and public relations) for not being sexy enough.
The “glass ceiling” is also a form of gender discrimination. The term refers to the invisible barriers that prevent women from climbing the ranks of management because the upper level and executive positions are given to men. Glass ceiling policies are unwritten, and sometimes referred to as the “old boys network,” but whatever it is called, it is another form of gender discrimination.
In the workplace, women are frequently subjected to subtle discrimination by both sexes. Qualified women may be passed over for promotions because they become pregnant (pregnancy discrimination) or because they might become pregnant (gender discrimination. Women are not only discriminated against for being “pretty” or “provocative” they are also discriminated against for being not pretty enough, too old, or, in some positions (especially sales and public relations) for not being sexy enough. Women are also more likely to be judged by their looks and how they dress than are their male counterparts.
The Equal Pay Act which requires that men and women in the same workplace be given equal pay for equal work. The jobs need not be identical, but they must be substantially equal. Job content (not job titles) determines whether jobs are substantially equal. All forms of pay are covered by this law, including salary, overtime pay, bonuses, stock options, profit sharing and bonus plans, life insurance, vacation and holiday pay, cleaning or gasoline allowances, hotel accommodations, reimbursement for travel expenses, and benefits. If there is an inequality in wages between men and women, employers may not reduce the wages of either sex to equalize their pay.
Analysis
Discrimination against women in the workplace often results in a lower salary when compared to the salary of men doing the same job. This type of discrimination is referred to as wage discrimination which can often be the result of managers having a prejudice against women. As modern society has made clear, women have the ability to perform with equal skill and success in virtually every endeavor engaged in by men, including employment, athletics, academics, and politics. Men are preferred in hiring decisions for male-dominated occupations, particularly when men are doing the hiring. Once on the job, men and women may be offered a similar number of developmental experiences, but females are less likely to be assigned challenging positions by men, assignments that could help them achieve higher organizational positions. Moreover, men are more likely to be chosen for leadership roles even though men and women are equally effective leaders.
Women have been facing pay discrimination for decades and unfortunately, continue to do so today. In fact, women earn 79 cents for every dollar earned by men, even though they make up almost 50 percent of today’s workforce. When women earn less money than men, they are forced to spend a greater proportion of their salaries to pay off their loans. As a result, women who complete college degrees are less able to pay off their student loans promptly, leaving them paying more and for a longer time than men. This leaves male peers with more money to invest, to save for a home, to put in an emergency fund, to use as a cushion when they take a big career risk while women devote much of their income to paying off student debt, which often stretches on for decades. Gender pay gap also reflects the gendered division of household labor, whereby caring for the sick and elderly, bringing up children and housework are considered women’s work. Because domestic work is not equally shared between men and women, women have more frequent career breaks, mostly to bring up children. This, in turn, has a negative impact on their careers.
Solution Options
I believe it would be helpful to discuss the discrimination with a boss or superior prior to filing a formal complaint. In the situation above discrimination can be handled internally to the satisfaction of all parties involved. Supervisor/Manager may look at each employee that works on the same level and promote as such. Working directly with a supervisor can help alleviate the cost and publicity of filing a complaint or lawsuit. It was said that women in technology jobs should not ask for pay raises and should have faith that the company will compensate them fairly. Other issues that would be contributing to female discrimination would be hiring people based on their gender. I believe if hiring managers remove the implications of gender from the hiring and promotion process this would help a great deal.
When managers get together to discuss hiring a candidate, the information given should be based on the candidate’s qualifications. The candidate’s name and gender should be kept out of the final decision process. When considering promotions within the company, use the employee’s accomplishments and background without including the name or gender in the discussion. All qualified employees should be considered for promotions based on their record with the company.
Human resources should ensure that equality practices are enforced by developing specific policies that address the issue. The Equality and Human Rights Commission encourages employers to recognize equality and diversity in the work place. That includes highlighting good examples in internal communications such as staff newsletters, according to the commission. Rewards for proper behavior in promoting equality practices go a long way.
Reflection
In today’s workplace, it is a proven fact that women are paid twenty cents less than men are paid. This is true in most workplaces except for businesses that women dominate. Examples of businesses that women dominate for the most part is the teaching fields, nursing fields, and the beauty departments. Women experience exclusion from these activities, which many views as a disadvantage on the job. Women list additional obstacles on the job such as testing, tokenism and being dismissed or interrupted during meetings.
The role of individuals in different societies is different and thus the role of gender is variable in accordance with the prevailing social setup. ‘Sex’ and ‘gender’ are different in origin but basically, the general role of individuals in a particular society is partly based on the physical potentials of individuals. Along with physical requirements, the individual must have to use his / her mental capabilities in order to move in the society. Gender Discrimination allows the distribution of the social responsibilities among the members of the society in such an effective manner that one can fulfill his/ her responsibilities by using his/ her physical and mental capabilities at optimum.
Women experience exclusion from these activities, which many views as a disadvantage on the job. Women list additional obstacles on the job such as testing, tokenism and being dismissed or interrupted during meetings. Women are also more likely to be judged by their looks and how they dress than are their male counterparts. On a note of contradiction, women are not only discriminated against for being “pretty” or “provocative” they are also discriminated against for being not pretty enough, too old, or, in some positions (especially sales and public relations) for not being sexy enough. The “glass ceiling” is also a form of gender discrimination.
Women are roughly four times as likely as men to say they have been treated as if they were not competent because of their gender (23% of employed women versus 6% of men), and they are about three times as likely as men to say they have experienced repeated small slights at work because of their gender (16% versus 5%). Women were overrepresented in several industries and underrepresented in others. Women often have to work longer in a lower level position before advancing.
Women are also more likely to be judged by their looks and how they dress than are their male counterparts. On a note of contradiction, women are not only discriminated against for being “pretty” or “provocative” they are also discriminated against for being not pretty enough, too old, or, in some positions (especially sales and public relations) for not being sexy enough. The “glass ceiling” is also a form of gender discrimination.