Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella apologises for gender pay gap comments

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has backtracked on comments he made regarding female workers asking their employers for pay rises, claiming his response was simply "inarticulate" and thus misconstrued.

Speaking at an event, Nadella sparked widespread Twitter reaction when he claimed women not asking for a pay rise from their boss would be "good karma," and could mean they're looked on more favourably in the long-term.

When asked about how women should approach asking for a pay rise, he said: "It's not really about asking for a raise, but knowing and having faith that the system will actually give you the right raises as you go along."

The chief responded to criticism by dubbing his comments an "inarticulate" statement regarding women in the IT industry, and added in a tweet that he believed the gender pay gap needs to be closed.

Later, a full blog post was posted on Microsoft's website clarifying Nadella's intentions behind the comments, appearing as an email to all employees with the subject line, "RE: Empowering Others."

In it, he wrote: "It was great to spend time with so many women passionate about technology. I was honoured to be a part of it and I left the conference energised 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 (sic). 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 ask."

Figures released back in June revealed a growing gender gap in the industry, with women only making up 18 per cent of the IT workforce in the UK, compared to 22 per cent in 2001.

Caroline Preece

Caroline has been writing about technology for more than a decade, switching between consumer smart home news and reviews and in-depth B2B industry coverage. In addition to her work for IT Pro and Cloud Pro, she has contributed to a number of titles including Expert Reviews, TechRadar, The Week and many more. She is currently the smart home editor across Future Publishing's homes titles.

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