Earlier today, Satya Nadella took to the stage of the Grace Hooper Celebration keynote where he was interviewed and asked about everything from the company's future plans to getting more women into development at his company. For the most part, Nadella was on his game and answered each question with class and honesty. But when questioned about how women should go about asking for a raise, he got into some trouble.
The short of is, that Nadella said women should not ask for a raise and that hard work will pay off over time. It was a poor choice of words and you can listen to the audio below.
Nadella quickly took to Twitter to clarify his statements and we believe that this was simply a poor choice of words on his part. The rest of the interview about women at Microsoft (and in the workplace in general) were properly articulated. But, alas, playing to the lowest common denominator, the press is jumping all over this one particular response.
You can see Nadella's clarification on the topic but those demanding an apology will likely not be satisfied with that response.
Gender equality is a hot topic at any company but Microsoft does not appear to be trying to hide anything as they have recently published their diversity statistics for everyone to see. And, let us not forget, that Nadella went to this conference to specifically talk about how women are improving Microsoft as a whole and it was not his intention to put down any gender during the interview. More so, the interviewer (Maria Klawe) sits on Microsoft's board, so you know that this was intended to be a well crafted PR show for Nadella that has now backfired.
While this will eventually get pushed aside as the world moves on, Nadella will have to choose his words about this topic extremely carefully because if he and Microsoft get painted as a non-female friendly workplace, it could have serious reputation ramifications for the company. But, based on everything said today, besides the pay comment, painted Microsoft in a positive light about how they are working to attract more women to Redmond and computer science too.