Microsoft shareholders back proposal seeking report on harassment


FILE PHOTO: A Microsoft logo is seen in Los Angeles, California, U.S. June 14, 2016. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

(Reuters) - Microsoft Corp said on Tuesday its shareholders had approved a proposal by Arjuna Capital, which sought a report from the software firm on the effectiveness of its policies to battle sexual harassment in the workplace.

About 80% of the votes that were cast at the company's annual meeting were in favor of producing such a report, Microsoft said in a filing.

Arjuna Capital is a Boston-based investment adviser and frequent filer of shareholder resolutions pressing companies for changes like disclosing more data on pay equity.

Microsoft already internally shares annual data on the volume of sexual harassment concerns raised and the results of the investigations into them. It has now adopted plans to make that data public.

The vote comes as big mutual fund firms increasingly support investor challenges to companies on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues and as employees of big tech firms stage walk outs protesting their tackling of sexual harassment claims.

Automaker Tesla Inc last month said that support for a shareholder resolution on how it handles arbitration to resolve workplace complaints of harassment and discrimination rose to 46% of votes cast at its annual meeting, up from 27% for a similar proposal in 2020.

(Reporting by Abhijith Ganapavaram in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva and Amy Caren Daniel)

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