Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella offered a “mea culpa” of sorts, following his stupefying advice to women at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing conference in Arizona. At a session on Thursday, he said women shouldn’t ask for raises, but should instead have “faith that the system will give you the right raise.”
In a message to employees that went out Thursday night, he admits that he wasn’t just inarticulate, but “completely wrong.” The Grace Hopper Celebration aims to give women the opportunity to learn from powerful CEOs. But, it turns out, powerful CEOs can learn from them, too.
Hopefully, moving forward, Nadella will be more aware of how he talks to—and about—women in technology.
Here’s the Microsoft CEO’s statement, in its entirety.
Sent: Thursday, October 9, 2014 5:24 PM
To: Microsoft – All Employees (QBDG); Retail: All FTE
Subject: RE: Empowering Others
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.
Lead photo by Johannes Marliem