Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella joined hundreds of other Microsoft employees and more than 8,000 female engineers from around the world at the annual Grace Hopper Conference. Yesterday, he sent an email to his employees that he is going to the conference to learn and to listen, and he really learnt a thing or two. Here’s what happened. Satya was interviewed on stage by Maria Klawe — a member of Microsoft’s Board of Directors and president of Harvey Mudd College — to further the discussion on women in technology. She asked Satya about what advice he would offer women who are not comfortable asking for pay raises. He replied that women should believe in the system and the good karma will pay them back in the future. Listen to his answer below,
This answer created lots of discussions online and Satya tweeted out saying that he was completely wrong for that question. In fact, he sent the following email to his employees with an explanation.
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.