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Satya Nadella Microsoft surrounded by reporters

Microsoft CEO apologises for “completely wrong” advice for women

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The foot-in-mouth syndrome is spreading.

After this Australian tech executive said women are like men, only cheaper, and these recruiters who have rather sexist views to hiring women, Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO, has also fallen victim to the epidemic.

At the ongoing Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, he was asked for his advice to women who are looking to advance their careers, but are uncomfortable about asking for a raise. His response was not pretty.

“It’s not really about asking for the raise, but about knowing and having faith that the system will give you the right raises when you go along. That might be one of the additional superpowers that women who don’t ask for a raise have.”

Say what?

Much to his detriment, he went on to say:

“That’s good karma – because somebody is going to know that that’s the kind of person that I want to trust and give more responsibility to.”


Nadella soon realised the folly of this strange advice, and made a clarification on his Twitter account.


He also sent out an email to all Microsoft employees addressing their concerns and apologising for his comments.

“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. If you think you deserve a raise, you should just ask.

“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.”

Image: Microsoft

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