Last year, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella made the news rounds for quite a few things, many of which were good. Nadella managed to be associated with raising the stock price of a stagnate Microsoft stock. Nadella was also linked to the reinvigorated interest the media was taking in reporting Microsoft news. However, one of his more known associations happened to be for some poorly worded approaches to gender equality in business.
During a sit down with Maria Klawe, president of Harvey Mudd College, during the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, Satya made some controversial remarks about women asking for raises. Since the incident, Microsoft along with many in the tech sector have stringently been on a campaign to reiterate their efforts to address the gender gap in tech, as well as a disparity in diversity.
For Microsoft, they’ve made their involvement in Girls Who Code a priority, as well the promotions and position changes to women in management. Microsoft has also gathered attention for their various diversity programs over the years. Today at their Build developer conference, Microsoft continued to showcase the company’s efforts to diversify its appearance. Lara Rubbelke, Principal SDE at Microsoft, took the stage to talk code quite early on during the opening day keynote. Lara was named a Microsoft MVP recently, a title reserved for a small group of individuals within the company. Next up was Mike Bugembe, Chief Analytics Officer for JustGiving. Mike was eventually followed up by Agnieszka Girling, the Principal Group Program Manager for Microsoft, who took the stage to help deliver the news about the future of Android on Windows. Prior to this; the only women who took to a Microsoft stage were Julie Larson-Green and Office 365 guru Julia White.
It’s very encouraging sign to see Microsoft begin to shuffle their presenters up a bit. It’s also nice to see women who speak code, stepping up and being an example for future female developers.