After Making Controversial Comments About Women and Wages, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella Launches Diversity Effort

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella speaks at an event in April. (Photo: Eric Risberg, AP)
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella speaks at an event in April.
(Photo: Eric Risberg, AP)

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is launching a diversity effort to defuse growing furor over his comments that women should not ask for a raise but trust that “karma” will reward them.

Nadella again apologized to employees for the remarks he made at a women’s technology conference, saying in a company wide memo this week that it was a “humbling and learning experience.”

“For context, I had received this advice from my mentors and followed it in my own career,” he wrote. “I do believe that at Microsoft in general good work is rewarded, and I have seen it many times here. But my advice underestimated exclusion and bias — conscious and unconscious — that can hold people back.”

Nadella sent the memo before a regular monthly Q&A session with employees this week.

In it, he outlined steps to increase the number of women and minorities at Microsoft including mandatory training on diversity and inclusion.

He also noted that women at Microsoft earned 99.7% of what men in similar positions earned last year.

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Source: USA Today | Marco della Cava, Jessica Guynn and Elizabeth Weise