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Nadella says senior management pay now linked to improving gender diversity

'Technology still has a long way to go'

Karma no longer seems to be the main factor in improving gender diversity at Microsoft, with CEO Microsoft Satya Nadella saying the compensation of the senior team is now anchored to making progress on the issue.

Speaking at the launch of his book Hit Refresh at the Lords Cricket Ground, Nadella said: "When we talk about the purpose of empowering everyone, we have to start by representing the planet when it comes to gender and ethnicity."

Nadella said some progress has been made in improving female representation at the firm, which has increased from 25.7 per cent to 27.7 per cent over recent years. In the UK the senior team is split 50-50: "A tremendous success," he said.

"Just to put a finer point on it, we've tied the compensation of our senior team to making tangible progress [in this area]."

But he said there's still a long way to go, "especially in technology when it comes to gender."

He added it wasn't just about increasing the number of women who join the company, but ensuring they had the right support and mentoring to raise through the ranks once at Microsoft.

Those comments are a far cry from Nadella's notorious gaffe in 2014 when he suggested that women should not push for pay raises and instead wait to be recognized for their work.

Not asking for raises was their "superpower" and would apparently bring "good karma" to women who stayed silent, he said at the time.

Needless to say, Nadella swiftly backtracked after his remarks caused a proverbial shit-storm, and issued an apology.

No doubt he hopes talking about gender diversity, rather than staying silent, will improve his still-depleted karma stocks on the issue. ®

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