Microsoft expands program for women returning to work

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SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) is increasing a program designed to extend its hiring of girls searching for to rejoin the workforce, following a rash of complaints about sexual harassment and gender discrimination on the world’s largest software program firm.

FILE PHOTO: A Microsoft brand is seen a day after Microsoft Corp’s $26.2 billion buy of LinkedIn Corp, in Los Angeles, California, U.S., on June 14, 2016. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photograph – RC17B8BED5A0 – RC16AAA7C2C0

Such “returnship” applications, aimed toward staff who had paused their careers to boost youngsters or take care of family members, are gaining reputation in Silicon Valley as know-how corporations search to deal with criticism about its bias towards younger male employees.

Ladies make up 26 p.c of Microsoft’s worldwide staff, and 19 p.c of its management, based on the corporate’s September 2017 range figures.

“Not solely can we wish to empower ladies’s come again but in addition faucet into non-traditional expertise swimming pools,” mentioned Microsoft Human Assets Supervisor Belen Welch in a Could 31 LinkedIn publish selling this system, which is the second iteration of a program first established in 2017.

This system is a part of Microsoft’s LEAP range initiative, aimed toward hiring ladies and minorities from unconventional backgrounds, comparable to self-taught coders and graduates of so-called coding boot camps. The camps sometimes encompass about 40 candidates who signal six- to eight-month contracts with the chance of full-time affords upon completion.

The returnship trainees will go to 2 groups in Vancouver, one associated to augmented and digital actuality, the opposite a online game studio, based on job listings posted by Microsoft.

Microsoft acquired 238 inner complaints of gender discrimination or sexual harassment from 2010 to 2016, based on court docket filings made public in March. It was sued in a Seattle federal court docket in 2015 for systematically denying pay raises or promotions to ladies. The corporate has denied these claims.

The corporate mentioned in March it had handled 83 complaints of harassment and 84 complaints of gender discrimination in 2017. The complaints resulted in about 20 staff being fired.

Amongst U.S. adults aged 25 to 54 who should not within the workforce, 36 p.c are feminine caregivers, based on the Hamilton Mission, an financial analysis group.

“It’s a lacking workforce,” mentioned Tami Forman, government director of Path Ahead, a New York group that has helped greater than 40 corporations launch returnship applications since 2016. These embrace Apple Inc (AAPL.O), PayPal Holdings Inc (PYPL.O) and Intuit Inc (INTU.O).

“That’s a giant chunk of people who find themselves not taking part and most of them wish to return to work sooner or later,” she mentioned in a phone interview.

Reporting by Salvador Rodriguez; Edited by Richard Chang and Lisa Shumaker

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