Feeds

Microsoft 'paid over £1m to silence UK exec over sexism'

Claims of papering over the glass ceiling

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

Microsoft has been accused of paying a senior executive over a million pounds in a settlement to silence claims that she was passed over for promotion to the head of Redmond’s UK operations.

An anonymous source told The Daily Telegraph that Natalie Ayres had been passed over for the top job in 2006, despite her 15 years with the company and position as general manager of the UK small and medium enterprises and partners group. The UK managing directorship was filled instead by Gordon Frazier, apparently before she had even been allowed to complete the interview process.

"They management do not follow procedure enough and if your face doesn't fit, you suffer. It's a boys' club. The only way to progress beyond a certain point is to become a male in female clothing," the paper quoted a source as saying.

"Although women compete on an equal basis further down the organization, they hit a glass ceiling at around "level 65 or above," the source added.

According to Microsoft’s own figures, 24 per cent of the company’s workforce is made up of women, and around 40 per cent of “executive positions” are held by staff who are women and/or members of minorities. That said, just 11 per cent of the senior executives profiled on Microsoft’s website are women, and two of the company's nine board members are women.

Google’s highest profile female employee, Marissa Meyer, estimates that women make up around 20 per cent of the workforce in most technology companies, and Redmond lacks high-profile female faces such as Meyer; Facebook’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg; Safra Catz, president of Oracle; and Xerox’s CEO Ursula Burns

According to The Telegraph, both Ayres and Microsoft refused to comment on the claims, which have come after a court case from former UK board member Simon Negus, who claimed that the UK office was full of drunken behavior and licentious conduct. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
OECD lashes out at tax avoiding globocorps' location-flipping antics
You hear that, Amazon, Google, Microsoft et al?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.