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Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella Recounted His Mom’s Lessons In A Candid Message On Women’s Day

On the eve of International Women’s Day, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella had an important message to share with the world — his mother’s lessons which left an indelible mark on him growing up as a child in India; lessons that’ve stuck with him ever since.

Satya Nadella Microsoft CEO


In the warm, candid message, Satya Nadella turned back time and wrote about how he used to accompany his mother — who was a professor at Padmavathi College in Tirupati — and play at her feet as a 3-year-old toddler “oblivious to his surroundings” in the middle of lectures.

“I know that the barriers and challenges she faced as a working mother were far, far greater than mine.”

“It wasn’t until decades later that I could begin to understand the choices my mother had to make that day in the classroom and every other day,” Satya wrote on his LinkedIn page. “Even now, I know I can understand only to a certain point. I know that the barriers and challenges she faced as a working mother were far, far greater than mine.”

Apart from acknowledging his mother’s impact in shaping his destiny, Satya Nadella also wrote about the need to celebrate International Women’s Day not only “to recognize and honor the tremendous value women around the world provide every single day, but also to help remove barriers for the next generation.”

His mother was his role model while he grew up in India, and explaining the impact of a strong role model, Satya Nadella wrote, “Much more difficult to follow your dreams without strong, visible role models to whom you can aspire.” He further wrote about how highlighting incredible stories of women at Microsoft and elsewhere around the world who’re busy shaping our digital lives through innovative new tech that “we rely on every day is one of the best ways to help girls understand that they too can change the world.”

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

Satya Nadella wraps up his personal note with another moment of self-reflection. “I’m no longer a child playing at my mother’s feet, but I will always be a man looking up to a woman — my mother, my wife, my daughters, my Microsoft colleagues and so many others — for the lessons in life that define who I am as a father, husband and CEO.”

Great to see the Microsoft CEO hitting the right tone on women’s empowerment issues in 2017, especially in the backdrop of his comments from 2014. Soon after being appointed as CEO of Microsoft that year, Satya Nadella’s controversial comments at the time about how women should depend on “good karma” and “the system” and not ask for pay raises had kicked up a raging storm of backlash in the tech world and beyond, forcing him to issue a quick apology on the matter.

More on the Microsoft CEO: Satya Nadella In India, Talks Entrepreneurship, AI-AR Revolution & Flipkart Partnership

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