Microsoft CEO Nadella tries to calm gender pay controversy

Satya Nadella has said that he got it wrong when arguing that women shouldn’t ask for a pay rise in the tech workplace.

Readwrite reports that the Microsoft CEO told an audience at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing that: It’s not really about asking for a raise, but knowing and having faith that the system will give you the right raise.

"That might be one of the initial ‘super powers,’ that quite frankly, women (who) don’t ask for a raise have. It’s good karma. It will come back.”

Considering that women are typically paid about 78 per cent as much as men, this call for an implicit trust in the system has caused outrage amongst many onlookers.

In a subsequent tweet Nadella stated that it was inarticulate re how women should ask for raise” and that our industry must close gender pay gap so a raise is not needed because of a bias”.

Readwrite reports that he then went one further by issuing a statement to Microsoft employees.

[I was asked] what advice I would offer women who are not comfortable asking for pay raises. I answered that question completely wrong,” he said. Without a doubt I wholeheartedly support programs at Microsoft and in the industry that bring more women into technology and close the pay gap.

I believe men and women should get equal pay for equal work. I said I was looking forward to the Grace Hopper Conference to learn, and I certainly learned a valuable lesson.”

Microsoft’s most recent workplace diversity data shows that gender and ethnic diversity at the company has not changed since Nadella took charge, with females accounting for just 29 per cent and white people 61 per cent.

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