Feeds

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

Claims of papering over the glass ceiling

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Assange™: Hey world, I'M STILL HERE, ignore that Snowden guy
Press conference: ME ME ME ME ME ME ME (cont'd pg 94)
Premier League wants to PURGE ALL FOOTIE GIFs from social media
Not paying Murdoch? You're gonna get a right LEGALLING - thanks to automated software
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
Online tat bazaar eBay coughs to YET ANOTHER outage
Web-based flea market struck dumb by size and scale of fail
Amazon takes swipe at PayPal, Square with card reader for mobes
Etailer plans to undercut rivals with low transaction fee offer
Call of Duty daddy considers launching own movie studio
Activision Blizzard might like quality control of a CoD film
US regulators OK sale of IBM's x86 server biz to Lenovo
Now all that remains is for gov't offices to ban the boxes
Ballmer quits Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.