Microsoft CEO Apologizes for Controversial Comments About Women

Satya Nadella now says he was wrong to say that women shouldn't ask for a raise.

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New Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has apologized for his controversial comments this week about women in the workforce where he said women don't need to ask for a raise, but should instead place their faith in the system to pay them well. Nadella faced a wave of criticism through social media in the wake of these comments, and now says he was wrong to make them in the first place.

Per CBS News, Nadella was asked during a presentation this week at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing event what advice he would give to women who felt uncomfortable seeking a raise. He said: "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." Nadella went on to say that not asking for a raise is "good karma" that would eventually lead a manager to see that the employee is trustworthy and capable of taking on more responsibility.

But in a memo shared on Microsoft's website, Nadella said he was "completely wrong" to make these comments. He added that he "wholeheartedly" supports programs inside Microsoft and across the industry that help bring more women into the technology field and in turn close the pay gap that exists in the tech space between men and women.

"I believe men and women should get equal pay for equal work," he added in his statement. "And when it comes to career advice on getting a raise when you think it's deserved, [presenter Maria Klawe]'s advice was the right advice. If you think you deserve a raise, you should just ask."

In closing, Nadella said he was happy to attend the event, and that he "certainly learned a valuable lesson."

Microsoft released an internal diversity report earlier this week that showed that 29 percent of the company's global workforce are women, which represents a 5 percent year-over-year increase.

Nadella was named Microsoft CEO in February, becoming the company's third chief executive. He follows in the footsteps of Microsoft icons Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer.

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