Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has given a pledge to his employees to make Microsoft a better and more diverse place to work, in the wake of comments he made last week at the annual Grace Hopper Conference that suggested women should not ask for pay raises.
Nadella later recanted and apologized for those remarks, calling them "completely wrong" in a mass email to employees. On Wednesday, Nadella sent out another email to his workers that GeekWire obtained.that had him once again apologizing for those statements and said that it has been a "humbling and learning experience" since he made those remarks, which he now says were "just plain wrong." He did try to offer an explanation of why he suggested women should not ask for raises, saying:
"For context, I had received this advice from my mentors and followed it in my own career. I do believe that at Microsoft in general good work is rewarded, and I have seen it many times here. But my advice underestimated exclusion and bias — conscious and unconscious — that can hold people back. Any advice that advocates passivity in the face of bias is wrong. Leaders need to act and shape the culture to root out biases and create an environment where everyone can effectively advocate for themselves."
Nadella says he is "100 percent committed" to making Microsoft a better and more diverse place to work and pledged to improve on three specific topics going forward: making sure equal work gets equal pay for all employees, a better effort to recruit a more diverse group of team members and an expansion of internal training among workers "on how to foster an inclusive culture." He added:
"When I took on my role as CEO I got advice to be bold and be right. Going to the Grace Hopper conference to further the discussion on women in technology was bold, yet my answer to a key question was not right. I learned, and we will together use this learning to galvanize the company for positive change."
Do you believe Nadella will be successful in making Microsoft a place that offers equality for all of its employees?