When it comes to matters of gender diversity in tech, Microsoft has had a rocky few years: CEO Satya Nadella got in trouble for suggesting that women shouldn’t ask for raises; an official Xbox party alienated women attendees with scantily clad “schoolgirl” dancers.
While Microsoft has worked hard at rehabilitating its image and increasing its outreach to women, a tweet sent from the official “Microsoft Women” Twitter account, promoting a man who got a job at a tech conference for women, may undermine some of that effort.
Here’s the tweet, sent late on Tuesday. It’s still up at the time of writing, though oddly doesn’t seem to be visible when viewing the main Microsoft Women account:
— Microsoft Women (@MicrosoftWomen) October 4, 2016
In the video, Haythem describes how he got his job with Microsoft after dropping off his resume with recruiters at two consecutive Grace Hopper Celebration events.
The Grace Hopper Celebration describes itself as “the world’s largest gathering of women technologists,” though it admits both men and women. The Microsoft Women account from which this was tweeted is intended to share stories of women in the technology industry.
The Twitter account’s description reads, “We’re a community dedicated to sharing the stories of #WomenInTech who inspire & empower us every day. Join us.”
Haythem, obviously, doesn’t fit that description.
This tweet seems to be part of a larger series from the Microsoft Women Twitter account on how to stand out while at the Grace Hopper Celebration – which is open to men and women. For example:
— Microsoft Women (@MicrosoftWomen) October 3, 2016
Microsoft is actually a corporate sponsor of the Grace Hopper Celebration, right alongside Google, Amazon, and Apple, and actually plans on sending 800 people, men and women, to the event. Last year, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella sat in the Grace Hopper crowd just to listen and learn.
Still, at least one Twitter user who identifies as a Microsoft employee has declared her intent to find answers within the company.
The Grace Hopper Celebration is also where Nadella made a controversial comment on how women shouldn’t ask for raises, but rather have “faith that the system will give you the right raise.” (He apologized soon after.)
More recently, Microsoft sparked a huge controversy when an official Xbox party featured scantily-clad “schoolgirl” dancers, drawing accusations of sexism that execs later said were “justly [deserved].”