Satya Nadella Is TestedDamien Moye
Being the CEO of a major tech company like Microsoft isn’t easy to start with. I’m sure current CEO Satya Nadella is finding that out. He found that out even more so in the past 24 hours.
There was a conference in Arizona called Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing. Mr. Nadella took the stage and attempted to address the issue of pay inequality between men and women. He said women should have faith in the system to give them a raise, and “It’s good karma. It will come back.” Whoops. The audience wasn’t happy with that response, and he quickly tried to clean up the mess he made. Within hours of his controversial comment, Satya Nadella wrote a letter. The letter said he was honored to talk to women in the technology field and he answered the question wrong when it came to pay raises. Mr. Nadella further stated his belief that both genders should be paid and treated equally and if you think if you’re deserving of a raise, you should ask. He credits the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing for teaching him a valuable lesson. I think he’s learned it.
When we speak at conferences like this, we have to pick and choose our spots. This was a conference celebrating women in computer technology. Also, keep in mind women are often paid less than men for doing the same job. So to tell women to have faith in this system at a conference empowering women was a bad move on Mr. Nadella’s part. But I am impressed with the way he handled it afterward. He saw his mistake, owned up to it, is doing his best to make amends, and is now trying to move on. So though pay inequality (and wealth inequality in general) are topics that need to be addressed, I say give Satya Nadella a break. What do you say?