Microsoft has taken down a series of blog posts after a backlash over a cartoon posted today caused a social media stir.
That cartoon was supposed to be a guide on spotting “The Software Developer Outside Silicon Valley,” and was posted on the Microsoft for Work blog. A link was tweeted out by the official Microsoft Azure account. Both the post and tweet were deleted, but you can see a smaller version of it as screenshotted by Twitter user @jessicard:
So what was the problem? As developer Danilo Campos put it on Twitter:
In other words, the cartoon — especially the bit about shaving on the company shuttle — reinforces the notion that software developers are essentially man-children who can’t dress or behave like adults. And, as the cartoon indicates, they’re definitely men. With beards.
It’s not a great look for Microsoft, given the fact that its most recent workforce diversity report indicates that only 16.6% of its tech workers are women.
To make matters worse, @jessicard also found that it wasn’t the first time Microsoft had posted these kinds of cartoons. Last time, the only female character was in marketing:
Last October, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella identified workplace equality as a focus for the company after apologizing for comments he made advising women not to ask for a raise, instead “knowing and having faith that the system will give you the right raise.”
Microsoft did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
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