A class action lawsuit has been brought against Microsoft in the US, alleging the firm practises in "intentional, company-wide discrimination against female technical employees".
Overall, Microsoft promotes an overwhelmingly disproportionate number of men, and passes over equally or more qualified women, claims the filing to the US District Court for the Western District of Washington.
The case was brought by Katherine Moussouris, who was hired by Microsoft in April of 2007 as a security program manager in the now-disbanded Trustworthy Computing Group security unit.
She alleges that as a result of Microsoft’s policies and procedures, female technical employees receive less compensation and are promoted less frequently than their male counterparts.
Moussouris claims she received lower performance ratings than her male peers, despite having better performance; was passed over for promotions on several occasions; and had the scope of her role reduced despite consistent performance.
Microsoft also retaliates against female technical employees who complain about this discrimination, she claims.
"Due to the nature and extent of the unfair treatment plaintiff received, and Microsoft’s continued refusal to take any corrective action to address it, Plaintiff was forced to resign on May 30, 2014," said the filing.
The action has been brought on behalf of a class of similarly situated current and former female technical employees employed by Microsoft in the US.
The Register contacted Microsoft for a comment, and received this:
We’re committed to a diverse workforce, and to a workplace where all employees have the chance to succeed.
We’ve previously reviewed the plaintiff’s allegations about her specific experience and did not find anything to substantiate those claims, and we will carefully review this new complaint.
Last year chief executive of Microsoft Satya Nadella came under fire for suggesting women should refrain from asking for more pay.
He said: "It's not really about asking for a raise, but knowing and having faith that the system will give you the right raise."
However, Nadella later backtracked on his comments saying in a memo to staff "if you think you deserve a raise, you should just ask". ®