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Microsoft's Satya Nadella outlines HR fixes after discrimination complaints, says report

Employees had protested the company's treatment of women following allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination.

Satya Nadella
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Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella sent a letter to employees Monday outlining human resources policy changes following complaints about discrimination, according to a report. 

The company will change how its HR department looks into workplace incidents, and will create an "Employee Advocacy Team" that'll assist employees going through an investigation by helping them understand the process and checking in on them after things wrap up, according to Quartz. There'll also reportedly be new training for managers that's geared toward leading diverse teams and rewarding inclusion. 

Earlier this month, a group of Microsoft employees protested the company after women shared their experiences enduring sexual harassment and discrimination in an email chain

"I'm disappointed to hear about any behavior in our workplace that falls short of the diverse and inclusive culture we are striving to create," Nadella wrote, according to an email obtained by Quartz. "But I'm encouraged that people feel empowered to speak up and demand change."

He reportedly added that teams across the company will come together to agree on a common set of expectations, and Microsoft will create new content related to inclusivity and unconscious bias. "No business or product success can replace the human dignity and basic decency with which we treat each other," Nadella wrote, according to Quartz.

In 2020, Microsoft will reportedly start sharing statistics on how often employees raise concerns and when violations are found. This will be in addition to its annual diversity report

Companies throughout Silicon Valley have grappled with discrimination and a lack of diversity in the workplace. Women make up just a quarter of the tech workforce, according to the Kapor Center, even though they account for 46.9 percent of the US workforce, says a report from the International Labour Organization. 

Last week, Google's diversity chief said she was leaving the search giant as it dealt with issues related to workplace culture. And in January, a Facebook engineering manager left the company, saying she'd been harassed for criticizing the lack of diversity there. 

"One of our strengths is that so many of us come from different backgrounds and have different perspectives," Nadella reportedly wrote in his company email. "Our opportunity is to find better ways to connect with and value each other. We won't always get it right, but I fundamentally believe this is a journey that will help define the better individuals we each can become."

Microsoft didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Originally published April 15, 3:24 p.m. PT.
Update, April 16: Adds more details from Nadella's email.