Microsoft chief Satya Nadella praises UK's computing curriculum

Satya Nadella, Microsoft's chief executive officer, has made his first appearance in the UK, praising national efforts to get more British children interested in science and technology.

Satya Nadella: Microsoft's chief executive officer
Satya Nadella: Microsoft's chief executive officer

Speaking at the Future Decoded event in London, Nadella highlighted industry and government drives to get more young people taking up Stem subjects (science, technology, engineering and mathematics).

He said: "One of the most important investments is in Stem education. Now in the UK, computer science is being introduced to everyone between five and 15.

"As more human capital is expressed through digital tools, it becomes more important for everyone."

Start-ups are the lifeblood of any economy, more so today than the past, as the barriers have significantly come down

Nadella also pointed to the UK’s growing start-up scene, noting that the proliferation of mobile devices and the boom in cloud technology meant any local player could have a global impact.

Nadella said: "Start-ups are the lifeblood of any economy, more so today than the past, as the barriers have significantly come down."

Nadella’s comments come as the government-backed Your Life campaign launches to persuade more British pupils – particularly girls – to take science and maths at A level.

Nadella avoided mentioning the importance of Stem take-up among girls and young women, possibly in the wake of a backlash against his comments made this time last month.

He attracted widespread criticism for claiming that women in tech did not need to ask for a pay rise, and should instead trust in "the system". This is despite the fact that technology companies are still overwhelmingly male.

He said: "It’s not really about asking for the raise, but knowing and having faith that the system will actually give you the right raises as you go along."

Nadella subsequently apologised for his comments, saying that he believed in equal pay and that women should ask for pay rises where they felt it was deserved.

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