"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 said at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing. "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."
Image Source: Flickr (Bhupinder Nayyar)
Though it wasn't a particularly tense moment on stage -- Maria Klawe, president of Harvey Mudd College and a Microsoft board member, told Nadella that his opinion on the topic was one of the very few that she disagrees with, then went on to hug him -- Nadella's comments set off a storm of criticism in social media.
Hours after being on stage, Nadella pulled an about-face and apologized on Twitter for his comments.
Was 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 #GHC14— Satya Nadella (@satyanadella) October 9, 2014
The CEO's comments come just days after Microsoft released diversity data. According to Microsoft, 29 percent of its workers are women, up from 24 percent a year ago.
"Have we made progress? Yes, we certainly have, and I am proud of the progress we have made. But we can all agree that much work remains to be done to increase the diversity of our company and the tech industry," Lisa Brummel, Executive Vice President of Human Resources at Microsoft, stated in a letter to employees on the topic of workplace diversity.