(KOMO) – It was a meet and greet networking event, but the dancers that Microsoft hired, dressed as provocative school girls that stole the show. “That was a mistake a really bad mistake.”
A short video and pictures that circulated on tweeter caught the ire of many. Sandra Persing was at the conference but not at the party; “It was a hot topic of conversation.”
It comes after many say Microsoft has been improving gender equality following the CEO’s well-publicized remarks that woman need good karma to advance. It also comes after Microsoft released a video last month aimed at getting young girls interested in computer science.
“Things like this are just kryptonite to attracting women to come work at your company.” Brianna Wu calls herself the Godzilla of tech feminists. “I myself have had more than 200 death threats in the last years an a half speaking out on these issues.”
The threats to woman who criticized the event on social media have been vicious as well; more reason why Wu believes the tech industry has a long way to go. “When you have this frat house atmosphere, it sends a signal to the public that you are not really believing the things that you say and it also sends that to the women who potentially work for you.”
Many credit Microsoft for responding quickly but it did not issue an apology. Within hours, Xbox Chief Phil Spenser wrote the event “was not consistent or aligned to our values. It was unequivocally wrong and will not be tolerated. We will do better in the future.”
“Especially the women who code organization we love hearing an industry saying we are going to do better, we have to do better,” said Sandra.
In an email to employees, the head of Xbox says the matter is being handled internally and changes will be made to Xbox sponsored events in the future.