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Newsmaker who called out Microsoft president to speak at UW-Madison

October 16, 2014 By David Tenenbaum

Last week, when Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella told women in tech fields to wait to be rewarded rather than ask for raises, he was quietly but forcefully challenged by his interviewer, Maria Klawe.

A day after that exchange from a conference celebrating women in the computer industry, and facing a storm of criticism, Nadella backpedaled, saying by email, “Maria’s advice was the right advice. If you think you deserve a raise, you should just ask.”

Photo: Maria Klawe

Maria Klawe

Klawe, president of Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California, will speak Friday about increasing women’s participation in science and technology careers on the University of Wisconsin–Madison campus.

“Maria Klawe is a national leader on issues related to diversity in technology careers, especially in computer science,” says Jennifer Sheridan, executive director of Women in Science and Engineering Leadership Institute, which is co-sponsoring the talk. “On our campus, we see an increasing number of women and minorities in tech fields, but the struggle continues, and we are a long way from declaring victory. We think Dr. Klawe can give us some innovative ideas so we can keep improving.”

The lecture is part of a series named for the late Denice Denton, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at UW in the 1990s, who went on to become chancellor at the University of California-Santa Cruz. “Denice Denton did an amazing job for women in physical sciences and engineering,” says Sheridan. “She created networks and relationships that exist to this day; she was highly influential in improving the status of women on this campus.”

Klawe will speak Friday, Oct. 17, at 3 p.m. in the Marquee Theater at Union South, 1308 W. Dayton St.

Tags: diversity, events