Microsoft CEO Makes Ill-Advised Comment About Women's Pay

Satya Nadella apologizes for 'inarticulate' remarks
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 10, 2014 1:00 AM CDT
Microsoft CEO to Women: It's Good Karma to Not Ask for More Pay
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella speaks to Indian students in New Delhi last month.   (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)

With pay inequality rife in the tech industry, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella should probably have known better than to say it is "good karma" for women to not ask for pay raises—especially since he was at a women's computer science conference. Attendees at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing murmured in "confusion and displeasure" yesterday after Nadella said it's "not really about asking for a raise, but knowing and having faith that the system will give you the right raise," according to Nadella later apologized for the comments, saying he had been "inarticulate" and the "industry must close [the] gender pay gap so a raise is not needed because of bias," reports USA Today.

Nadella's comments weren't just ill-judged—Carnegie Mellon economist Linda Babcock estimates that women who fail to seek pay raises early in their careers can lose more than $1 million in earning over their lifetimes, according to Slate—they show that the India-born CEO has a poor understanding of the concept of karma, writes Annalisa Merelli at Quartz. He's implying that asking for a raise is a bad action and people who don't do it will be rewarded by life, she writes, but the truth is that many people deserve a raise anyway, and if Nadella wants good karma himself, he "should walk in his office tomorrow and give a raise to all the women who work for him, without waiting for them to ask for it." (More Satya Nadella stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.