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Microsoft's Nadella: Women Should Trust 'the System' on Pay Raises

Satya Nadella says he was "inarticulate" about the advice he gave to women working in the tech industry about seeking a pay raise.
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Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella says he was “inarticulate” when he suggested at a women-in-computing gathering that women in the tech industry should have faith that "the system" will give them the pay raises they deserve in the long run. Nadella’s original remarks came at a talk Thursday at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing.

On stage with Maria Klawe, president of Harvey Mudd College, Nadella was asked what advice he had for women in the tech industry who aren’t comfortable asking for a raise. Nadella replied in part: “It’s not really about asking for the raise but knowing and having faith that the system will actually give you the right raises as you go along. And that, I think, might be one of the additional superpowers that quite frankly women who don’t ask for a raise have, because that’s good karma. It’ll come back because somebody’s going to know that’s the kind of person that I want to trust, that’s the kind of person that I want to really want to give more responsibility to. And in the long term efficiency, things catch up.”

Klawe, who is a computer scientist, said she disagreed with Nadella’s advice. And so apparently did other women (and men), who took to the Internet to voice their views. Nadella later tweeted that his words were indeed poorly chosen:



— James Eng