Microsoft's CEO Satya Nadella has been furiously backtracking after comments he made about whether women should be asking for a raise more.
Speaking at the 2014 Grace Hopper Celebration Nadella responded to the question by Maria Klawe, president of Harvey Mudd, by suggesting that perhaps women shouldn't ask for a raise, rather, letting the system increase your pay instead.
"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."
"That, I think, might be one of the additional superpowers that, quite frankly, women who don’t ask for a raise have. Because that’s good karma. It’ll come back because somebody’s going to know that’s the kind of person that I want to trust."
Nadella quickly backtracked by tweeting that his response to the question had been 'inarticulate' saying:
Since then the CEO sent round a memo to all of Microsoft's employees saying the following:
All – Today I was interviewed on stage by Maria Klawe at the Grace Hopper Conference – I encourage you to watch the video. It was great to spend time with so many women passionate about technology. I was honored to be a part of it and I left the conference energized and inspired.
Toward the end of the interview, Maria asked me what advice I would offer women who are not comfortable asking for pay raises. I answered that question completely wrong. 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. 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.
I said I was looking forward to the Grace Hopper Conference to learn, and I certainly learned a valuable lesson. I look forward to speaking with you at our monthly Q&A next week and am happy to answer any question you have.