Microsoft's Nadella backtracks after comments on women pay lead to protests

Satya Nadella later said he had been "inarticulate"

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella recommends that not asking for a pay raise is "good karma" for women, leading bosses to trust them and give them more responsibility.

Nadella's remarks did not, however, go down well with the audience and the interviewer Maria Klawe, president of Harvey Mudd College and a Microsoft director, who told him she disagreed, citing her own experience. A large number of people on Twitter also expressed their disapproval.

Nadella was speaking Thursday at the Grace Hopper Conference on women in computing in Phoenix, Arizona.

"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," he answered, according to the webcast of the interview. He added that women who do not ask raises could have additional superpowers, because that's good karma that would pay back in trust from the boss and greater responsibility.

Nadella later tweeted that he had been "inarticulate re how women should ask for raise."

"Our industry must close gender pay gap so a raise is not needed because of a bias," he added.

In a letter to employees, Nadella said that he had answered the question "completely wrong."

"I believe men and women should get equal pay for equal work," Nadella wrote. "And when it comes to career advice on getting a raise when you think it's deserved, Maria's advice was the right advice. If you think you deserve a raise, you should just ask."

Recent reports on employee diversity made public by tech companies suggest that males dominate in the workplace. Microsoft said recently that 71 percent of its worldwide staff was male at the end of September.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags business issuespersonnelMicrosoft

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

John Ribeiro

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?