Overall I've enjoyed my time at Microsoft. I've had 2 kids and was even promoted while on Mat leave. There are times where work-life balance can be a bit difficult but it is achievable.
There are a lot of old-school men around, but it has changed a lot over the years. I doubt that it is worse than any other major company with regard to how it treats women. I don't notice a difference between the treatment of women who have taken maternity leave. If anything, it's overcompensated for to make sure no one takes issue. That said, I am treated differently because I am a woman, often. However, I am happy with my work/life balance and the creativity of the job, so I don't plan to leave.
Microsoft still has a predominantly male culture and male management team. My experience was that women with years of experience are assumed to be pursuing an administrative or project management career path, and are assumed to be less technical. Young women are assumed to be less knowledgeable than their peers.
Have been with Microsoft for 5 years now and I believe this is a great place for women. However, there are a lot of unconscious biases and people do have to prove themselves before earning credibility and respect. And this is harder for women.
Microsoft is a bit of an odd duck. It's very difficult to move around in this company because they have taken the good old boy network and institutionalized it. They actually tell you, you have to hobnob and glad-hand the hiring manager for six months to a year before a job opens and then once one opens, you will be at the top of the list. if you don't do this, you will not ever get interviewed for any job. So, forget having the right experience and credentials; those do not matter at all. What matters is hanging out at the bar and having a drink. and yes, that is MUCH more awkward as a woman.
I left Microsoft for another local tech company, and only stayed away for about 2 years. I love it here! I've been back for about 3 with no plans to leave. I have excellent flexibility, can work from home, and have very reasonable expectations for my work.
Free, anonymous reviews of Microsoft by female employees, including pay, hours, maternity leave, flextime, and company culturehttps://fairygodboss.com/company-reviews/microsoft 3.6 stars, based on 206 reviews Company Website Lady Cham3l3on Lady julep Lady anon54 Lady Bug Lady scoop1970 Lady ilv4vball