In his first shareholder meeting as chief executive officer of Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), Satya Nadella emphasized one message: Diversity matters.

At the 90-minute Dec. 3 event in a corporate conference center in Bellevue, Washington, the CEO discussed and responded to questions about how Microsoft is working to hire, retain and promote a more varied workforce, including having all employees take training that alerts them to their unconscious biases. The senior leadership team of the Redmond, Washington-based software maker had just taken such a course, Nadella said.

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