Microsoft's Xbox boss in internal email: 'We justly deserve the criticism' for sexist party screwup

Microsoft's Xbox boss in internal email: 'We justly deserve the criticism' for sexist party screwup

Microsoft's efforts to be more inclusive of women were set back on Friday when it came out that the company's Xbox division hired "schoolgirl" dancers for an official party.

To its credit, Microsoft Xbox boss Phil Spencer quickly issued an apology, taking full responsibility and promising to do better in the future.

Now, Business Insider has obtained the internal memo Spencer sent to the Xbox team following this incident, reiterating his commitment to inclusion and saying that it "deserves the criticism":

From: Phil Spencer
Sent: Friday, March 18, 2016 12:00 PM
To: Xbox Team FTE Worldwide
Subject: TEAM XBOX Values & Commitment

How we show up as an organization is incredibly important to me. We want to build and reflect the culture of TEAM XBOX - internally and externally - a culture that each one of us can represent with pride. An inclusive culture has a direct impact on the products and services we deliver and the perception consumers have of the Xbox brand and our company, as a whole.

It has come to my attention that at Xbox-hosted events at GDC this past week, we represented Xbox and Microsoft in a way that was absolutely not consistent or aligned to our values. That was unequivocally wrong and will not be tolerated. This matter is being handled internally, but let me be very clear - how we represent ourselves as individuals, who we hire and partner with and how we engage with others is a direct reflection of our brand and what we stand for. When we do the opposite, and create an environment that alienates or offends any group, we justly deserve the criticism.

It's unfortunate that such events could take place in a week where we worked so hard to engage the many different gaming communities in the exact opposite way. I am personally committed to ensuring that diversity and inclusion is central to our everyday business and our core values as a team – inside and outside the company. We need to hold ourselves to higher standards and we will do better in the future.

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