Former Security Strategist Sues Microsoft for Gender Discrimination
A former senior security strategist at Microsoft has filed
a class-action lawsuit alleging gender discrimination. The lawsuit, filed this
week in a federal court in Seattle, comes nearly a year after Microsoft CEO
Satya Nadella’s infamous and poorly received
remarks suggesting that "karma" was the best way women should expect to
receive salary increases and promotions.
While Nadella swiftly issued an apology, saying Microsoft
"wholeheartedly" supports closing the pay gap and responded a week later with a
diversity initiative, the incident was the latest to put the spotlight on
discrimination in the tech industry.
Katherine Moussouris, who filed the complaint, is accusing
Microsoft of passing her over for promotions ultimately given to less-qualified
reported by Reuters. The report
added she was also told by supervisors that they didn’t like her "manner or
The complaint also claims Moussouris was given a low bonus
after reporting sexual harassment. After seven years with Microsoft, she
resigned in 2014 after the company failed to address what she described as
Additionally, Moussouris complained that other women were
also discriminated against and consistently ranked below their male counterparts
in routine performance reviews.
"Microsoft systematically undervalues the efforts and
achievements of its female technical employees," her attorney Adam Klein of New
York-based Outten & Golden told Reuters.
While at Microsoft, Moussouris "was instrumental in
prompting" the company to create its bug
launched in 2013,
according to a Wired rreport. While at Microsoft,
Moussouris also was a BlueHat content chair, lead subject matter expert in the
US National Body for the ISO work item 29147 "Vulnerability Disclosure"
published last year, editor of the 2014 International Standard ISO 30111
Vulnerability handling processes and owner of vulnerability disclosure policy
for Microsoft in terms of overall strategy, according to her LinkedIn
Moussouris left Microsoft in May of 2014 to become chief
policy officer at HackerOne.
Microsoft in a statement issued to
Wired disputed the allegations. "We’ve previously reviewed the
plaintiff’s allegations about her specific experience and did not find anything
to substantiate those claims, and we will carefully review this new complaint."
Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 09/17/2015 at 12:16 PM