There's sub-cultures. Some divisions are great for women, some not so much.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Sexist. Ceo is trying to change culture, but hasn't trickled down to middle management
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.
Pretty good awareness to promote women. More and more women are managers and directors.
Have things gotten better, worse, or stayed the same for women at Microsoft in the past year?
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