(Winged ratings measure job satisfaction on scale of 1 to 5)
Anonymous shared this review of Microsoft, United States on Apr 15th, 2020
"Microsoft has been around since the 70s, and the intense, misogynist, numbers first people last culture will take time to change - I acknowledge that. I worked there for three years on an engineering advocacy team, developer relations, and what I observed from leadership across the board was privilege supporting privilege, backchannel politics and some serious game of thrones moves, and no bias to action when underrepresented folks spoke up and asked for help. The "in need of assistance" thread that went around last spring is a great summary of Microsoft's current culture for women (there are a few articles about it, if you look that up). I saw and experienced exactly that. The stability of a large company is a plus, the mediocrity that fails up is a minus. Overall, it is the only place I regret working at in my entire career and do not recommend it for women, people of color, non-binary folks."
"There's plurality, there's equal pay, but engineers rule the day. They use a 1990s model to compete in 2020 and it's so very broken. It's rare that anyone in product can rise into senior leadership in the product groups. If you're in product design, they run WAY too lean to make modern products people will love. So there a lot of missed opportunities and you have to be OK with that."
"Very supportive of diversity and inclusion in the workplace, amazing benefits, competitive compensation and strong women leaders throughout the org. "
Anonymous shared this review of Microsoft, United States on Feb 24th, 2020
"There is no time flexibility. I cannot imagine working there if I was a Mom."
Anonymous shared this review of Microsoft, United States on Jan 21st, 2020
"Lovely place to work....lots of free stuff available for employeese"
Anonymous shared this review of Microsoft, United States on Dec 17th, 2019
"Big emphasis on pushing inclusivity and diversity. Most teams are still predominantly male here though."
Anonymous shared this review of Microsoft, United States on Dec 5th, 2019
"Amazing company run by smart and caring partners. They are constantly improving our benefits and work environment. "
Anonymous shared this review of Microsoft, United States on Sep 23rd, 2019
"There's opportunities for women if they believe that we can do anything we set our minds to. "
Anonymous shared this review of Microsoft, United States on Sep 13th, 2019
"Microsoft Retail is still what you would expect from retail. Trying to move up is pretty hard but there are days that I really feel that I have made a difference with my team. I think that there is so much more growth that needs to be done at the retail level, it is very much a male dominated space. "
Anonymous shared this review of Microsoft, United States on May 1st, 2019
"The volume of work is immense. Very flexible in terms of when and how the work gets done. Very common that working mothers spend the day in meetings and do actual work in the evenings and nights. 3 hours slee not uncommon."
Anonymous shared this review of Microsoft, United States on Apr 25th, 2019
"Set a timer on how long you want to stay at a big company like this. At some point career progression is going to be more about subsribing to the culture the leadership team wants and not about your skills."
Anonymous shared this review of Microsoft, United States on Apr 23rd, 2019
"Make sure the team supports diversity and inclusion. Not just the direct manager, since that will likely change, but the org as a whole."
Anonymous shared this review of Microsoft, United States on Apr 15th, 2019
"It is a good place for women. I have always had a good share of opportunities to grow. "
Anonymous shared this review of Microsoft on Mar 13th, 2019
"Great insurance, maternity/parental leave, and the culture is moving in the right direction. "
Anonymous shared this review of Microsoft on Nov 20th, 2018
"It's getting better. I believe that we will continue to see improvements."
Anonymous shared this review of Microsoft on Oct 11th, 2018
"Find a good team, move to another team when your needs aren't being met."
Anonymous shared this review of Microsoft on Aug 16th, 2018
"Microsoft is really making an effort to promote female leaders. Unfortunately, in some areas, the work is not aggressive enough. In others, the promotion of women is so aggressive that there is now--and will continue to me--backlash. "
Anonymous shared this review of Microsoft on Jun 28th, 2018
"In the male-dominated tech world, women either have to work twice as hard or they are put on the "mommy track" . It's hard!"
Anonymous shared this review of Microsoft on Jun 12th, 2018
"Flexibility isn't the problem for me, but the on the ground culture is competitive for all the wrong reasons, not customer focused enough and not accountable."
Anonymous shared this review of Microsoft on May 15th, 2018
"Great benefits, and they are working hard at diversity. The top bosses get that things need to change but there is still a huge undercurrent of people who don't understand what all the fuss is about"
Anonymous shared this review of Microsoft on May 2nd, 2018
"The company is dedicated to developing women in their careers through regular women in leadership conferences, "coffee and conversations" events, recommending specific women mentors for women earlier in their career, excellent maternity leave, excellent benefits overall that support work/life balance. I highly recommend Microsoft to other women. "
Anonymous shared this review of Microsoft on Apr 20th, 2018
"It is such a huge company that it is hard to know what your experience would be, so I would try to talk to women on the specific team you’re looking to join. It’s a lot better than many companies out there, but that doesn’t mean it’s good."
Anonymous shared this review of Microsoft on Apr 19th, 2018
"This is a great company to work for, amazing management and co-workers. Work-life balance is great."
Anonymous shared this review of Microsoft on Apr 10th, 2018
"Well diverse company with a laid back culture. It is a great place to work with flexible hours. "
Anonymous shared this review of Microsoft on Apr 2nd, 2018
"LTs aren't ready with women inclusion strategy and conversation. Though lots of talk... "
Anonymous shared this review of Microsoft on Mar 6th, 2018
"Watch your back and pay close attention to the nuances behind what people say ("be a team player, not a critic" is not a good motto)"
Anonymous shared this review of Microsoft on Mar 2nd, 2018
"Make sure you document everything and search out positions you'd like to move into. Advocate for yourself!"
Anonymous shared this review of Microsoft on Feb 23rd, 2018
"pick the right team and manager for you as its so important because your team and manager really count on you. make your boundaries clear. keep track of your successes. build great relationships at all levels, get a mentor immediately and network, network and network some more."
Anonymous shared this review of Microsoft on Jan 24th, 2018
"Ask for what you want. Promotions and salary may be not be given up front but if you ask you will get a lot more"
Anonymous shared this review of Microsoft on Jan 20th, 2018
"Great company to work for, but watch out for gender bias"
Anonymous shared this review of Microsoft on Jan 12th, 2018
"Men are promoted based on potential. Women have to prove themselves (with ever-moving goal posts) for the same positions."
Anonymous shared this review of Microsoft on Jan 5th, 2018
"Seek out a senior person to help guide your career development other than your boss. Managers change often and it is important to have multiple allies. "
"It has a great attitude to maternity, pays well but is a "old school club" environment. Lots of people who have been there too long in jobs they really can't do"
"Great place to work, super work life balance, and super career advancement opportunities."
Anonymous shared this review of Microsoft on Oct 20th, 2017
" great place to work at for a good family life"
Anonymous shared this review of Microsoft on Sep 25th, 2017
"Microsoft is good at supporting Women, depending on the org you are in. Not all are supportive of maternity leaves or medical leaves, but the good orgs are investing in women. BAPI, or now they call it BAG, is one of those orgs. "
Anonymous shared this review of Microsoft on Aug 23rd, 2017
"It's better than most places and I have a very positive experience"
Anonymous shared this review of Microsoft on Aug 20th, 2017
"This is a pretty good place to work. I liked it."
Anonymous shared this review of Microsoft on Aug 8th, 2017
"Microsoft embraces diversity and I encountered no significant issues as a woman due to company culture or policies. As a global company, it is inevitable that a few co-workers or partners may have a pre-existing stigma around women, however this was a challenge to embrace and overcome by earning their respect."
Anonymous shared this review of Microsoft on Aug 6th, 2017
"It's better than most places and I have a very positive experience"
Anonymous shared this review of Microsoft on Jul 2nd, 2017
"this company has Great benefits, and senior leaders support diversity & flexibility"
Anonymous shared this review of Microsoft on Jun 2nd, 2017
"Go for it, amazing opps for women! not sure careers are for everyone though"
Anonymous shared this review of Microsoft on Mar 16th, 2017
"Good upward movement until you get into Directors and above"
Anonymous shared this review of Microsoft on Mar 15th, 2017
"It's a good place to work, but like any other tech company, you have to be aggressive and sometimes things are unfair the higher you go."
Anonymous shared this review of Microsoft on Feb 12th, 2017
"You need to be very assertive to borderline aggressive to be noticed as someone who has impact, if aren't seen as having impact you won't progress and will eventually be managed out. If you're looking for a promotion, it is expected that you're working at the level of the promotion before you're considered a candidate."
Anonymous shared this review of Microsoft on Jan 30th, 2017
"I agree with other women's reviews that you're manager impacts 95% of your experience and review. Although the amount of effort that I put into my job has remained the same over the last 10 years, my reviews have varied wildly depending on whether my manager liked me or not. The first five years I regularly got feedback that I was too abrasive, despite seeing men never get this feedback. I landed under a manager of that saw no value in my skills and that was like hell for two years. But other years I've had managers that really liked me and I've been a top former. Honestly it's a crapshoot. The maternity leave is very generous, that's probably the best thing. But each time I've come back from maternity leave I've had to switch teams because the new mom bias is terrible. I never talk about my family at work, I find that to be much easier to help avoid mom bias. "
Anonymous shared this review of Microsoft on Dec 21st, 2016
"Great benefit and maternity leave. It is really family friendly. "
Anonymous shared this review of Microsoft on Nov 19th, 2016
"The group I'm in has lots of women in technical roles. It has been a leader in women-friendly and family friendly policies. Not all teams are like that, but good ones do exist."
"Competitive family leave policies in line with top tech companies"
"There is lots of support for families at Microsoft. As with many large corporations, the support of women and promotion to leadership varies by group. Some managers and teams really get it and have made changes. Others have not. Yet. I believe Satya Nadella is working hard to make necessary changes."
Anonymous shared this review of Microsoft on Oct 31st, 2016
"Hours are moderatley friendly. I wish more people worked part time and/or left early. "
Anonymous shared this review of Microsoft on Jun 28th, 2016
"The company can still be doing so much more for women... You won't encounter any blatant sexism but the culture is still very much all about 'the guys' at the top and being part of each department's boy's club."
Anonymous shared this review of Microsoft on Jun 13th, 2016
"Microsoft if a great company to work for in terms of work/life balance, and taking care of a family but you have to be careful and mindful of the busniess groups to advance professionally "
Anonymous shared this review of Microsoft on Jun 6th, 2016
"Choose your manager very, very carefully. Research by searching out other women who work in that group and ask to sit down and have a private chat outside of theory office."
Anonymous shared this review of Microsoft on May 30th, 2016
"If you join, build up a network of supportive female professionals. Don't trust HR. Don't fill out polls or surveys. Just do your job unbelievably well, and you will slowly rise to a point When it is time to move on because you hit the glass ceiling, do that. Try moving around every two to three years to resist "tracking" and growing stale. It can be hard to move around, but with determination you can usually pull it off."
Anonymous shared this review of Microsoft on May 7th, 2016
"I wouldn't say it's any front leader but offers decent options. "
Anonymous shared this review of Microsoft on May 5th, 2016
"Great place to work. Flexibility and great culture. Women treated the same as men."
Anonymous shared this review of Microsoft on Apr 27th, 2016
"I would encourage young women to work here, because it is great when you are early career. I would recommend mid-career and later to go elsewhere."
Anonymous shared this review of Microsoft on Apr 24th, 2016
"Benefits are fantastic. The impact of the software we build is immense. I've been working hard and I've been getting promoted at a relatively fast rate too. It took me a long time to reach a point where I was unhappy with my job, and initially I didn't know why I was unhappy. After I admitted to myself that gender might be playing a role, I've been doing some soul-searching and I now feel that I deserve better. I am looking for something better. Some women seem to be on teams they love. I haven't heard many of those stories, though. Microsoft is doing a bunch of public talking around diversity. Microsoft is walking some of the talk, but overall there's too much talking and not enough walking."
Anonymous shared this review of Microsoft on Apr 20th, 2016
"Be careful of raising any valid complaints, such as sexual harassment, or unfair pay, because you will be punished for that - retaliation is strong with this company's HR and Legal. Review for GE Aviation"
Anonymous shared this review of Microsoft on Apr 16th, 2016
"It's hard watching your male co-workers get promoted while you're told that you're not doing enough."
"Beware of the hostile work environment and unequal opportunity for women. India dominated leadership and technical workforce has different cultural attitudes towards women than the USA culture. Bullying and exclusion is commonly used to force women out. HR and diversity program does nothing to improve reported issues. Check public discrimination lawsuit documents to understand widely known, unresolved issues. "
"Search public discrimination lawsuit documents to understand the environment for technical roles. Leaders and staff from India and Middle East countries have different cultural attitudes towards women. "
Anonymous shared this review of Microsoft on Mar 23rd, 2016
"Technical teams can be less female and family friendly."
Anonymous shared this review of Microsoft on Mar 22nd, 2016
"To ask other women on the team you're considering joining about they're experiences. The way women and minorities are treated varies drastically from group to group."
"I've worked here for over a decade. Multiple groups, roles and divisions. Women are welcome to work here but don't expect to get promoted or have the same opportunities as men - to be fair a subset of men (white or Indian). The culture can be rough, bullying is common and behavior that is acceptable in the workplace is not that which you would want your child to repeat. There are good and smart people who work here, they just aren't those typically promoted. You will reach mid-level and realize you do not respect or like most of the people at your level and above. A woman cannot respond in the same abusive manner as a man and if she calls him out on it will be penalized. 1 in every 3 experiences tends to be good."
"Mature company with senior people, so benefits are great for people with families. Workload had its peaks and valleys, but very flexible culture, so great for juggling life and the demands of being a working parent. It still felt like a "boy's club" in many aspects, especially in my field, where it's predominantly women, but at the top, it was predominantly male. So, there's work to be done. Having said that, since the new CEO came onboard, Satya Nadella, and his participation in the Grace Hopper conferences, it became more friendly to women."
"Microsoft is not fair to woman."
"I worked for 3 years before I was able to use the maternity leave at MSFT. I had an incredible support system where my manager was a woman and her manager was a woman as well (though childless at the time). They scraped the barrel to find as much time off necessary to give me a full 5-month paid leave plus suggested to come by the 6th month as part time. They paid for my pump through the Women's Leadership's Council funds and installed a lock in my office for privacy. Where else could you find such flexibility? Granted I had female managers but where else would you find 2 female managers to begin with? It was blissful."
"I've been with the company for more than 10 years in various positions across 4 divisions. In most of them I didn't feel like being a woman was a disadvantage. In fact, my skills at building teams and meeting deadlines put me on a fast promotion path. However, my current organization is an old boys club, where promotions, projects and bonuses are based on popularity contests, not on actual results."
"My experience is in the UK. I have been here 15 years and love the company culture. If you like working with smart, friendly and collaborative people. Having fun at work, being empowered to work when and where you want and to feel that your work has real impact then consider Microsoft. My 2 kids both went to the on campus nursery and now they are 11and 14 they sometimes accompany me into the office for a day. I know nowhere else like it. I have the freedom to set my own schedule and fit work around family. Work has supported and promoted me throughout my career."
"I've worked here more than 20 years. It has really changed over the years. I have faced subtle and not-so-subtle bias over the years that has affected my career and financial compensation. Age-discrimination is as bad, if not worse, than sex discrimination, which combined, is pretty bad for women over 40. You can expect to be "managed out" sometime in your forties whether you are a man or a woman. The recent change to the review system has turned the system into a subjective evaluation (popularity contest) rather than one based on facts around what was accomplished. I would recommend looking only at teams that clearly have a higher ratio of technical women than average (which can be found on the Microsoft website.)"
"I've worked here for 10 years. The company is very white male heavy. There is also heavy pressure within the company to advance. It's sort of frowned upon to get into a role and stay there for a long time (like, 3-5 years is usually the max). There is heavy competition for advancement opportunities and its very much a who you know kind of thing."
"I've worked here for 7 years and have had both male and female management chains. All are great. There are some women in leadership that seem to have something to prove, but there are plenty of men like that too. I've worked at a number of different companies and Microsoft is the most fair and equal to women, and has the least amount of sexual harassment. Highly recommend it here."
"I have worked at Microsoft for 5 years and it is generally a decent place to work for women. It is more difficult if you are in engineering or have an engineering centric role as it is very male dominated and the men are generally hot heads, think they know it all. The company is decently good at work/life balance for men and women, but its very manager specific."
"There are lots of career opportunities for women and there is a growing openness to improve the experience for women. Networking is still very important for all employees to get recognition and opportunities. Managers are better equipped and skilled at managing across differences and not just from a gender perspective."
"I've been here almost 10 years. Some groups are fantastic about treating everyone commensurate to their skills. Others perpetuate the boy's club - not listening to women or even not inviting them to meetings that are important. If looking at this co, ensure you talk to everyone you can in the group..."
"It can be a boys club."
"The Leader to who I work for, used bad words, even during meetings and also over the phone!! my daughter who was 9 at the time even heard them, during the Company wide required feedback, I provided honest feedback about his bad words, which rather than taking them as an area of opportunity he instead made my life a living hell. I ended up leaving that team in less than a year. He made sure the next manager also gave me horrible time. I ended up losing my job. There were almost no woman in that team."
"Sexist. Ceo is trying to change culture, but hasn't trickled down to middle management"
"Women can have a vastly different experience depending on the team they are on, and their manager. In my 15+ years, I have had good managers and bad ones and it has made a world of difference in how I am supported and the opportunities I have received."
"Like most tech companies, most women are in marketing, HR, administrative roles rather than engineering roles. Some female managers in engineering disciplines came up from the administrative/clerical ranks and harbor biases about how women should act at work vs. how men should act. If your work style is more assertive, technically confident, and quick to speak up, and less apologetic, deferring to men and hesitant, you'll have trouble under these managers. How to identify them? Look for women without solid engineering experience who are running teams. Often seen in technical publications teams, but can exist anywhere. If you are a developer, be prepared to run into men who first assume you're product/marketing, and then program management, before finding out that you're a dev, because female devs exist in significant numbers in such a large company, but are still not common. Some of my best contacts there are people who first assumed I was just an English major helping write product marketing copy, and then found out I had architect-level skills and could offer technical feedback. Among the seriously-old-guard (the 20 years + club), it's a boys club. But most of them aren't in your daily life, so you just let the boys be boys, and get on with your job. That said, much of the company is gender-blind (or at least willing to apologize when called on unconscious bias), and if you can steer clear of the female admin type managers, your skills are likely to be recognized on their merit and you could find yourself with a great opportunity. As in any big company, it is ALL ABOUT POSITIONING. Get on the right project, and you can get attention from people at the VP level and higher, quickly. Get on an ordinary project, and you can make a good living and stay mostly invisible for years."
"I'm relatively new but so far it's a very good place to work. The legal department has LOTS of women -- possibly to make up for not having very many on the engineering side."
"I worked at Microsoft for 8.5 years and loved my career there. You have to be protective of your own balance and set expectations with your manager, etc... I think Microsoft does a great job around professional development and ultimately is invested in helping employees get to where they want to go."
"There is general fairness, but the management and workforce is heavily male dominated. Networking with men is difficult, especially if it happens post work over drinks. I also have worked with a few senior people ,manager (1 out of 6) and ICs where I have been judged on likability instead of assertiveness and performance. I have not seen this criteria extend to men. The other area which needs work is when people are given more focus if they share their criticism and opinions, rather than collaboratively proposing solutions."
"There's sub-cultures. Some divisions are great for women, some not so much."
"You'll have a hard time finding a place where you can grow your career faster and with the work-life balance I find here. However, with no female leadership from the account teams through to the CEO, I've faced countless aggressive comments internally (and externally) with no support or understanding. While Microsoft says that it values collaboration, mentorship and openness, you are often looked at critically by your peers for displaying too much of those attributes (and won't find your peers displaying them either). All in all though, I am very happy here and plan on staying for a while."
"Work life integration is a challenge wherever you go, whatever your choice. I think it's important to work to solve this within the context of your own situation, knowing what's most important to you, always pursuing your goals, and learn from/lean on others, develop your village. It is possible to have everything you want .... perhaps not all at the same time (though I haven't given up on this yet either! :)), but it's important to maintain perspective."
"I've worked here 15 years and have had years where I would say this was a dream job and years where I'm wondering how to get out and its closely tied to the organization. As I've gotten more senior I see more of the double standards and how org specific it is. In terms of broad benefits the company is amazing, can't complain. In terms of interpersonal support we need to get rid of the "old microsofties" who are focused on survival and move to a thrive model."
"I like working at MS, tons of opportunities and great possibilities to grow and learn. I like the culture and enjoy coming to work every day"
"Microsoft's policies encourage equal treatment for all employees; however, the individual experience one can expect is extraordinarily dependent on one's manager. I've been a full-time employee (FTE) for over a decade, and have more than twenty years' history working for Microsoft (I worked as a contractor off and on prior to joining as an FTE). In the years during which I had managers who were capable and objective (and even in some years when I had managers who were not very capable but were at least objective), I was always a top performer in every team in which I worked. I got a new manager this year and was suddenly given a "zero rewards" [no bonus] review that was attributed not to my contributions (or lack thereof), but to my personality. Not only was there absolutely no supporting evidence given for the assertions about "how" I do my job, but it was demonstrably proven that my manager had not actually talked to anybody with whom I work before creating the review, with the exception of one colleague who has spent years denigrating me. Moreover, despite getting no bonuses from this manager, he was forced to give me a raise of >$10,000 because that's how much less I was paid than others with the same job title in my organization (and the salary was required to be normalized regardless of review). In the past six months, five of my male teammates have told me that they believe my current manager has "issues" with and is "threatened by" women, "manages by intimidation", and that I'd be treated very differently if I were male. These were unsolicited statements, each of which was made after the colleague witnessed various of my manager's actions (and in some cases, his profanity-filled screaming fits directed at me as well as other employees he dislikes). My manager's manager is widely known to be out of touch with what's going on in his organization at lower levels, and his solution to a top performer suddenly being given a poor review and a directive to "get out" was to tell me they do want to keep me in the organization (I'm fairly senior and am technical, both of which are sadly rare across the company), but he has continued to keep me reporting to the manager who has admitted that he does not like me and who has given me an extraordinarily biased review containing numerous false statements. This is despite the fact that there is a peer manager to whom I could report instead. If my manager's manager was genuinely interested in getting a well-rounded assessment of my performance, a simple way to do that would be to shift me to the other manager and see if I continued to be evaluated as a sub-par performer. I would have attributed this experience to a personality conflict between my new manager and myself were it not for a number of incidents (literally dozens in the last six months) in which my manager has, in writing, credited male colleagues for work I've done (to which they did not contribute at all); has blamed me for inadequate work done by male colleagues (which I had no involvement in); has refused to acknowledge or act on several instances in which one of my male peers has delivered abysmal work to the point that we've had to engage legal to deal with the fallout when customers complained; and has pushed the only other woman on my team into grunt work that is so below her capabilities as to be laughable were it not for the fact that it's about to drive her out of our organization. One of the very few other women in my organization (women comprise <10% of employees in my director's organization) was undergoing chemotherapy and she was actually criticized by management for poor meeting attendance during the time when she was fighting cancer. We are losing people left and right because of poor managers (my current manager is not the first bad manager that has been added to our organization by our director in the past few years), and the director usually writes these departures off as normal, even "positive" attrition [meaning- "it's a good thing s/he left, because s/he wasn't a 'good fit', anyway"] After I received my most recent review, when I shared my experiences with a few close friends, I was shocked at the number of similar stories I heard from or about both current and former Microsoft employees. I genuinely believe that Microsoft's most senior leaders want to drive an inclusive, fair culture, but there is an ingrained culture that, if an employee receives a negative review, even after years of being a top performer (whether male or female), it's treated as a problem on the employee's part, not as a potential problem with the manager who delivered the poor review. The experience one has at Microsoft is incredibly dependent on whether that person's manager is an advocate or an adversary, and the system is geared towards supporting the manager, not the employee. I've seen many stellar people driven out of Microsoft because of this, and it is not only women to whom this happens, but in the case of it happening to women, the "justification" for the negative reviews (and firings) that they got has most often been about their supposed personality issues ["aggressive"; "abrasive"; "domineering"; "it's not what you do, it's how you do it"] rather than because they didn't deliver on their commitments and assignments. Microsoft is a company that wants to treat people fairly, but it is unfortunately structured in a way that ensures that that doesn't happen. Rumor, innuendo, and "reputation" propagated by a bad manager carries more weight than praise and kudos from dozens of peers and other teams/organizations does. This isn't sour grapes on my part- I very much want to stay at Microsoft and I actually think that outside of the team I'm in, the organization of which I'm a part is somewhat better at treating women fairly, although there's definitely a "she's difficult" bias against women who are assertive, driven, and/or willing to call out problems in the organization, coupled with an incomprehensible support of male employees who underperform again and again but are vocally self-promoting. Had I been asked a year or two ago if women are treated fairly at Microsoft, I'd have said that we are, but that would have been based entirely on my own highly positive experiences up to that point. It was only when I experienced the "dark side" myself that I started to run across women who have had similar experiences, and in many cases, who also pointed me to even more women who had, as well. For women who are considering working at Microsoft, I'd say the following: 1. Your experience is heavily dependent on your manager and your manager's manager, and those can (and will) likely change a number of times over your career at Microsoft. If you interview and don't get the strong feeling that your potential manager will be your advocate and wants to hire you not just because you're a woman (there's pressure to recruit and hire women and minorities across the company), but because your skills and capabilities are desirable to the organization, run away and look for another team to join. Don't be afraid to ask if you can speak with other women in the team/organization; if there aren't any, if they're only found in "non-technical" roles such as HR, marketing, legal, finance, etc.; or if those women aren't able or willing to enthusiastically articulate how they feel about working in the team, think carefully about whether you want to join that team. And if you're somebody who wants to rise to senior levels within the company, be prepared to have to be more politically savvy and self-aggrandizing than you might normally be comfortable with. Now that I've written that, I'm reminded of a female colleague who recently joined Microsoft and who was brought in at a level far below what she should have been hired at, as well as being told by her mentor, "there's a fine line between keeping your manager informed and 'bragging'." I wish I could say that that attitude wasn't common."
"I have worked here both as an FTE and as a vendor for over 14 years. Never during that time did I ever feel discriminated against. However, like so many other organizations it is all about who you know when it comes to promotions or job moves. I feel fortunate to be working at MSFT especially now that we have Satya Nadella at the helm !"
"It is a great company to work for. Women are treated as equals to Men. You have to be able to work hard, lean in and take chances. Opportunities are there, you just have to look and work for them."
"Pretty good awareness to promote women. More and more women are managers and directors."
"I've worked here straight out of college. Although my engineering team is predominantly women, this is NOT the norm. I see a lot of women coming into engineering roles, which is encouraging. But my management chain, from my direct all the way up to Satya Nadella, are all men. This is the case for most employees at Microsoft."
"I have the perfect balance of work and life at Microsoft. I get to work from home, still manage a global role and enjoy my personal life. I really feel Microsoft gives me the best of everything which makes me want to work for them everyday."
"Funny... I read the verbatim that the site provides as an example and it was exactly how I feel... I've worked here for years and there are a lot of women working here, but predominantly in support roles. Generally I believe they are treated fairly but management is male-dominated and not diverse, which makes it tougher for women to "network" with them. Mid-level women don't seem to advance because of these subtle issues."
"I've been here for over 3 years. You need to have a thick skin and be willing to take risks. I've been in groups of women where they talk about '1000 little papercuts' during their days, but it's not something I've ever experienced. I act like one of the guys, I guess, and so I'm not hyper sensitive like others. I don't feel as if I have ever been judged negatively because of my gender. Engineer4Fun"
"MSFT has been through a lot of change since I left but historically, it has a very type A, competitive culture. Every group is unique though. Be sure you enjoy networking and internally PRing yourself. These are important traits in addition to being functionally good at your job at MSFT."
"I've been at Microsoft for about 2 and half years as a junior/mid-level employee. Outside of core engineering teams, men and women seem to be treated fairly for the most part. When I say core engineering teams, I mean teams that work on technical features that have broad impact across the company and therefore yield the biggest bonuses. Sometimes you can be in an engineering org but your role may not be a particularly technical. As a woman, the closer you get to core engineering roles and responsibilities that require technical skills, the less women you will see and the more youâ€™ll experience being undermined, sidelined, and discriminated against. Management is apathetic to this issue, mostly because it has never affected any of them. I applaud Katherine Moussouris for calling attention to this issue. It is very real and very pervasive at Microsoft and needs to be addressed."
"I was reassigned to new team during maternity leave. I was put on performance improvement programming by new team when returned from maternity leave. I resigned before pip. I was calibrated very well before maternity leave."
"Microsoft cares about women."
"I've been here for 13 years. Generally women are treated fairly, but like in all tech companies, the management is predominantly non-diverse males and I believe there is an unconscious bias against mothers taking time to tend to family needs, flex time, etc. Benefits in general are great to support a family."
"I've worked here for 18 years and there are a lot of women working here, but predominantly in support roles. Generally I believe they are treated fairly but management is male-dominated and not diverse. Mid-level women don't seem to advance because of these subtle issues."
"I am a vendor here and have worked at Microsoft for the past 5 1/2 years now. There are a lot of women that work here but mostly in support roles. I don't see as many leaders as there should be. Women are treated fairly but I would like to see more women in higher levels here. It would also be great if FTE women would give vendor women opportunities to join the company. It is hard enough as it is for women in the work force and I don't see many networking opportunities around here. And those who do network are bad mouthed as 'desperate'."
"I worked here for 3 years in engineering where there were few other women. All of the women were in junior levels, even the ones who were not entry-level and had some years of experience. I did not have any mentors or sponsors, the environment was fairly isolating."
"Its a great company to work for. how women are treated depends on the team you are in , your manager etc. initial pay and level negotiation is key ."
"I have worked here for 13 years. It's a great place to work depending upon your management. Still very male dominated, but the company is evolving for the better. Great maternity leave options, and flexibility when needed around family."
"I've worked here for 11 years. When I started, I worked for a woman who was formerly the head of a very big group. Looking up in the organization, I saw a few women who were up the management chain (though none other than my boss in my own management chain). Now, there are far fewer, and it isn't clear as to why. On the positive side, the lack of women in leadership has been acknowledged by the top people in my organization, and there is a lot of thought going into what to do and how to change the organization's management from a 40-something-wife-at-home-white boys club like it is now. As for maternity leave, I have found both men and women (and especially men) to be supportive of parental leave. In fact, I've seen male managers be more supportive of taking the full leave (20 weeks) than women managers."
"While I was treated better here than at any other company I've worked for, there are still certainly some issues, not least of which is Satya Nadella's comments about women and raises. Almost all of the Admin Assistants are women, and while there are some engineers, devs, testers, etc that are women, you REALLY have to strut your stuff as people will tend to think you should be doing 'softer' work (presentations, admin assistant, marketing, reporting, etc). Show everyone that you're a world class talent though, and you'll get respect in a hurry, and outside of some cultural barriers, you'll find people will back you up pretty strongly."
"Depends on which team you go . If there are more men who work 20 hrs a day when u work then you will look like a slacker. Not all teams are like that. But people definitely work more than 8 hrs a day"
"Women are still not at equal pay for the same roles / levels as their male counterparts. Leadership roles for women are much harder to attain, particularly if trying to climb from within the organization and in the last couple of years, large percentages of women over the age of 40 were laid-off after years of service."
"I've worked here for 7 years. There are a lot of women working within my group - the challenge is that the hours are still very intense. You are on all of the time making it difficult to find time for your family."
"I've worked here for 4 years. There are great benefits, maternity leave, and work/life balance. The senior leadership is predominately white males. Men are often promoted over women. The current review structure does not account for gender bias so I would assume that men, on average, receive higher bonuses - although HR would not confirm that when I reached out about it. Lots of talk to press about them investing in women, but do not see that happening internally."
"I've worked here for 6 years and there are a lot of women working here in a range of roles. Generally I believe they are treated fairly, but at times still excluded from "mixing with management". There are can still be people with an us and them mentality."
"You need a strong sponsor in your group and a manager who is sensitive to unconscious bias"
"I've worked at Microsoft for 10 years and overall, for women, I feel it is a good company. My salary is very fair for my role and I feel I am having an impact in what I do everyday. For a company that is very engineering focused, I think there are still a good number of women in those roles. There are several women in leadership positions as well, however not many of the women leaders are in engineering, mostly services and people management. I've never had a problem being judged for being a woman, needing time off or other related experiences."
"Good benefits for both women and men Opportunities to learn and grow Engineering teams are probably lopsided in leadership with more men in those roles, but people related organizations like Services and Human Resources have a good number of female leaders"
"Experience for women will vary greatly depending on the group they are in. I have had a great experience, did interesting work and am fairly compensated. I do not have executive aspirations, which helped me choose balance. It is a fairly flexible work place in most groups which many take for granted. And 20 weeks mat leave (8 unpaid) with 4 / 8 for men is pretty darn good."
"Microsoft offers a ton of flexibility and opportunity - I have been here almost 13 years and I am very proud to work for Microsoft."
"24X7 nurse hotline; in home doctor visits; subsidized back up childcare - 100 hours per year at $4 per hour."
"Many of the women at Director or Executive level either have no children or a spouse that does not work outside of the home. Men are congratulated if they work from home or stay home due to a domestic issue."
"Women can definitely be successful here but it is very male dominated. My experience is that to be successful you need to act like all the men around you. This is not only a gender issue but can also be an issue for introverts."
"My experience has been that there is a lot of flexibility and trust. Microsoft hires smart people that are good workers, so the philosophy in my group was: here's your job, here's the deadline, I don't care where you do it or when you do it, just get it done. I appreciate that flexibility and trust as a parent. There isn't any feeling of having to "clock in and out" With that said, the majority of senior leadership is male. There is a level that I believe is difficult to surpass while still spending a reasonable amount of time with your family."
"I worked at Microsoft for 10 years, 6 as a contingent staff and 4 as an FTE. I had so many positive experiences working at Microsoft, but did not leave on a very positive note. I felt like there was so good equality among males and females, but there were often "good ole boys clubs" that made it difficult to network well. I think maternity leave is generous, but being a working mom was criticized by many and not overly supported from my leadership."
"Microsoft is a good employer... but with a lot of legacy in place. While Satya tries to refresh the company and improve it's policies, most of it still operates with a lot of politics and slowness."
"I have worked here for 5 years and there are quite a few women here but mainly in lower level roles. Generally I believe they are treated fairly but management is male dominated an not diverse. Some managers treat women differently than there mail counterpartes"
"Amazing company with amazing rewards and benefits. Recommended for only the extremely driven people of any gender."
"If you want to be taken seriously, do not start in a support role. There is a massive glass ceiling above all support roles and near impossible to break out of them, regardless of skills or experience. Ability "choose" work hours or flexibility is completely dependent on your current manager. Good manager = good work/mom balance. Not awesome manager = crappy work/mom balance."
"Great opportunities for growth"
"Not really a place that you're going to spend your whole career, but the training I gained while there was worth the layoff!"
"Its a Job, not a marriage. Make sure to not work excessively, learn the fine art to do your job greatly well giving the "extra" mile but make sure that you keep it controlled and don't give more than necessary, even if you can give the 2nd extra mile. Once you give it will become the standard from you, and always those around you will want more... suddenly you will work +8 hrs / day and always feeling behind.."
"Great place to work...comes with the everyday politics of every company"
"For all the years I worked here which was many, I was always treated like I was a small child, just because I am petite and short. Even though I gave the team the best ideas and gave the job my best when compared with a guy I was given inferior treatment always. My male peers some of them were pretty clueless and had 0 experience but went out for happy hours with the boss, so were given much more respect. Advice for women who reach a decent position please do not go along with the men and treat other women disrespectfully just so that you can gain extra points. Remember how you would like to be treated as a woman"
"Network, Network, Network. It's totally about who you know and who knows your name."
"To learn the organizational make up of Microsoft, this will allow a new person to more quickly integrate into Microsoft. old school leadership leads to a very political environment, to succeed overall one must be able to adapt to such environment. Females are about 17% - 20% of the population, females are respected for their abilities and contributions but I believe women must exert themselves more to move ahead."
"Be open and appreciate all the benefits you have!. focus on what you can control there are things that are corporate rules that you cannot change, focus only on what you can change"
"Make it a point to network and stay well-connected to senior individuals within your team, as well as folks across your organization and the larger company."
"I've worked here for 27+ years. First day to first 23 or so were wonderful. After that when I didn't want to move up within the organization things started to turn 'blah' where it wasn't ok to not want to increase level and responsibility. In addition it became very male centric where as a woman I was overlooked for my contributions. Pay attention and pick a part of the organization where women are appreciate and in senior leadership positions."
"Build relationships and find mentors."
"Speak up in meetings. Try to sound confident and authoritative even if you feel unsure inside. Make sure you own your ideas and take quick action to implement them before others do it for you. Don't be afraid to take risks."
"Start networking immediately, build relationships by meeting and helping others, they will help you in return."
"I wish I believed in myself more. I wish that I had used those airline miles to take my husband with me before the kids were born."
"I worked here for 8 years and wish I hadn't stressed so much about my maternity leave. My team was fully supportive through this tough personal period, and I was still respected for my work ethic and performance."
"The work will come... don't worry if you don't have enough in the first 3 months, it will soon be overwhelming."
"Take the time to observe, listen and get a sense of the culture but not too much time - give yourself 90 days. Read the Harvard Press book my first 90 days so you can develop an effective plan and hit the ground running and get some quick wins under your belt. Find a mentor or two - build a peer network of go to women you can count on. Invest in people and build a strong network and learn how to collaborate well with others while driving results."
"Be more vocal about what you want and if the tasks you are given align with your career goals. If you are not happy with the team, MOVE to another team before your morale gets beat down and it starts hurting your reviews. It is now getting easier to change teams and there is no requirement to stay for any amount of time. I have seen that people don't always start with the right team, but now you have the power to move to another team."
"Like many others, I worked early on as contingent staff for a number of years before joining as an FTE. The group I finally joined was fun, innovative, took risks and had a lot of integrity. We weren't doing brain surgery but everyone worked very hard as a team. I knew at the outset being a woman was a problem as I was hired at $10K less than a male counterpart with equal experience -- actually less in the area we were hired. But I liked my boss (salary was his bosses mandate) and I decided to take the job. I never ever cried except once at work about 4 months before I resigned and it was at 10pm at night and I was alone in my office. Over the years I created a suit of armor to deal with the increasingly hostile environment. I find now after leaving that after many months I am crying all of the time. I had just turned off my emotions to deal with all of the stress, abuse and intolerance. Recently MS has laid off pretty much everyone in IT over 40 and all of the women they could possibly get rid of. They do this under the guise of RIFF which is crap. They are cleaning house to get rid of the old people. I can find many of my friends jobs now on the job boards everywhere. And the executives continue to sit in front of Congress and the Senate talking about how there aren't enough qualified people and how they need more H1Bs. Don't make me laugh. The many good years I had I remember with joy but the company now isn't a very nice place. Suffice it to say the comment Nadella made at the women's conference wasn't him misspeaking."
"Be confident in yourself, and others will be confident about you. Be a decision maker, people are hungry for direction. Be kind, smart and nice aren't mutually exclusive. Don't get hung up on levels and promotions, instead do good work, elevate others and success will come. Or at least you'll be happy. And be clear about what you want from your career. Don't assume management will guess at your aspirations."
"Believe in yourself, trust your instincts, have a voice, be present and you will do GREAT things."
"You can't do it all, particularly after you have children. Decide what is important to you, and stick to that - and try to be consistent, it is helpful to those you work with, and to your children. Work with your manager to find the right balance that works for you - it takes open communication and honesty but has worked for me for many years!"
"I wish I had been told that you define your own destiny. The company is supportive if you are ready to be ambitious and lean forward. Microsoft does not do very well with employees who are not assertive and don't grab on to opportunities. My advice to young women starting out is to be confident, ask for challenging work and then go and deliver."
"Lots of changes happening in this company, I have been thru numerous re-orgs. Be prepared for your charter to change."
"Be prepared to experience a lot of change, and learn to roll with it. While it remains a male dominated company in the technical roles, you are given every opportunity to either affect change, or influence it positively. Don't worry so much about what you will do in 5 years, just go be excellent at what you are doing now. Don't be afraid to ask for help, and GET A MENTOR!! And finally, be empowered to ask for a promotion and a raise if you think you deserve it! You'll be surprised at how often it will work!"
"What a nightmare! Everything was fine until I became pregnant. What was said in my review did not match my review score. It became clear that they were trying to manage me out the minute I returned from maternity leave. I left quickly and had another manager beg me to stay as she knew that my crappy review score was going to her. If you have a bad review score they will deny you disability leave so watch out for this. Absolute pleasure leaving this team!"
"Build strong relationships and network a lot. Don't be afraid to try a new role or job and certainly don't believe every bit of feedback you get."
"Network! Find projects that interest you outside of your normal responsibilities. Ask for what you want. If you are a working mom, do what you need to do for your family. Microsoft expects that your family will come first. They will support you!"
"Make the most of your experience but don't be afraid to say 'no'... the extra work you take on may not be worth it."
"Relax. Give yourself a year to learn and get your footing. When your manager assigns you an area to cover, reach out to others to learn everything you can about it. Ask everyone you talk with to suggest another person to talk to. If the conversation goes well and you like the person, ask them if you can meet again at some later date to review your work and get advice. Once you feel comfortable, don't limit yourself to what you're assigned to do -- seek out projects, offer to help others, if you are passionate about something, do it. That's the best kept secret around here: if you tell enough people you're working on something, eventually you will be -- just make sure it falls within your org's product/goals/vision. Have fun and connect with others. It'l be great!"
"After working at Microsoft for14 years, I feel like I have done a lot of great things in my career here. I wish I had spent more time building more mentoring relationships and keeping my network of people and coworkers ripe and active. I would have specifically sought out a strong female who could coach and mentor me."
"Make sure you understand the culture of the group you are joining."
"Stay true to yourself & have confidence you can do anything!"
"Confidence comes from expertise and experiences. Seek out new challenges/experiences. Network\Communicate in your own way â€“ Stay Authentic. Have Trusted Advisors."
"it's going to be hard work. It's going to be long hours. If you have a family move closer to work so the time away from the family won't impact that work life balance."
"Believe in your worth and negotiate a higher starting wage. It will compound over the years"
"trust your instincts and don't be afraid to ask questions."
"Seek out opportunities to work on high visibility projects and/or projects that will give you access to senior management. These relationships are very important for performance review season and networking down the road."
"Do not always be a team player - sometimes you need to look out for yourself."
"Don't underestimate yourself. Negotiate your salary. Men tend to do this better."
"Grab every opportunity for training--it's at your fingertips."
"I'd tell myself to ask as many questions as possible whenever I didn't know what to do. It not only helps you learn, but sometimes it informs higher ups that a project is bigger than they imagined and not something for a newbie to get. Also, expect to be challenged constantly- managers can be a little forceful in questioning your decisions, which is not the greatest situation for an introvert. To other women, you may get put into a team off the bat that you don't mesh with. It's generally considered poor manners to switch teams mid-release, but once the product is off for production, you can shop around. Use the time before you can switch to network and get to know about how other teams work. Try to build a relationship with the person that'd be your manager. That way, when it's time for a reorg, you'll have an idea of how other teams work, or if the team you thought you'd join is discontinued, you'll know to ask the old manager where he or she is going. If you like your management, try to stick with them through team changes. While having an interest in the team's goals is important, enjoying being around your coworkers can really make or break your experience."
"I worked here for 10 years in Finance as well as Marketing. I never saw women treated differently than men. I had my first kid 3 years after joining and enjoyed a flexible work culture, excellent maternity leave (12 weeks paid and 8 weeks unpaid and you can take it all together) that accomodates the needs of parents. I had 2 kids while at Microsoft. There is politics in the company but not a bias against women. So you need to know how to build relationships with senior managers men or women (had plenty of women in my many of my teams always)."
"Don't idolize the job position you are in if you just came out of college. There are bad bosses and bad roles, and sometimes you can fall into one of those bad roles as part of holes in the on boarding. Just network and use connections to get yourself to where you feel you fit in."
"I wish I would have known that my starting salary and level would be an issue throughout my entire career at Microsoft. Don't under estimate the importance of negotiating a good salary, title, level from the start. The work life balance lines are very blurred, but there is ample flexibility to make up of it most of the time, but you have to take it no one is going to offer it to you. Plus, a good mentor right away will help navigate the politics because this place feels massive from the inside."
"Just be yourself and be confident in who that person is... and be in charge of your own career. Don't assume that your manager is there to grow you to the next level or position, etc... it is up to you to determine what learnings you need, what job you think is the best fit next... The manager is just there to help guide you on your quest."
"It's hard to sort out how to advance your career or level (compensation), even as a top performer."
"The company is really good when it comes to diversity, work-life balance as well as opportunities."
"I've worked at MSFT for 12+ years and through two kids. They are not very supportive of part-time work, but typically supportive of other flex options. the environment in each division/group can be really different. I highly recommend DevDiv, the developer division whose focus is on developer tools. I would stay away from Xbox unless you are a work-aholic gamer. I don't think that group is very family friendly."
"The flex time opportunities are great. As a single mother of a small child, it was hard for me to work regular hours. All managers I've had of me working when it makes sense for me."
"Speak up else you will be stepped over/talked over and overlooked. You have to adopt Men-like behaviors to be successful here."
"It is not my gender that makes me feel different - it is being single, childless, and American. I assume any single, childless, American male would feel the same. This is a very good place to work. Keep in mind, though, that experience can vary wildly between teams. That being said, my experience has been great."
"I have worked at the company for almost 25 years and have enjoyed a variety of roles and different orgs - every role and group has so many different opportunities. As a female employee and manager I have never felt limited, judged or held back. Competition is challenging, the modified review system is much better but as a manager I don't feel like I have complete control of rewards for me team."
"Ive worked for Microsoft for 4 years through 1 pregnancy. I was 9 months pregnant and still working when a position that I was qualified appeared within my current team. A position that had I not been pregnant I am sure I would have gotten. Other than that I returned to work disappointed but my work life balance since the pregnancy has been great. I feel like overall the company is supportive."
"I've worked at the company for 8 years. Microsoft has a wealth of resources for women including social groups and incredible health and child care benefits. The flexibility provided to me to work at varying hours, work from home, etc. is a differentiator for me and allows me to have better work/life balance."
"Just like any other corporation. Pick your manager not the job."
"Like any other organization - Finding a sponsor (male or female) will do wonders for one's career."
"I've worked here for almost my entire career - mostly as full time, but with a part-time stint as well. I've had maternity leaves and was very supported through them. I feel like there are great places for women in this company but that there does exist an "boys" network that tends to undervalue some of the strengths that women bring to the table and that results in few women being promoted to leadership positions."
"Microsoft is transitioning from an "old school" company of many male engineers to a "current" company with a healthy mix & attitude towards women and men, as well as affordances for more flexible works schedules. Most of the women I work with have children or are planning to have children & they feel that Microsoft allows them to be a mom and work. I personally like to work out in the morning so I can cook dinner with my husband in the evening. Microsoft lets me get in later / leave later so that I can do that."