Earlier this month, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella got in hot water for his comments about women asking for raises. He said it’s all about “good karma” and “having faith that the system will give you the right raise.”
His comments were deemed offensive and sexist by so many that Nadella eventually had to publicly apologise many times.
On Monday, in his first TV interview since becoming Microsoft’s CEO, Nadella further clarified his stance on inequality in the workplace.
Speaking to CNBC’s Jon Fortt, Nadella apologised again, saying, “I basically took my own approach, to how I’ve approached my career and sprung it on half the humanity. And that was just insensitive.”
He continued, “I said something that was just generic, but I come out of it with real understanding, real empathy that this is a real issue that we want to make real progress on. And I just was, I would say a bit naive in thinking of my own personal experience versus understanding that I’m speaking to women who really, really want to make sure that people like me are making it easy for them to be able to participate in the workforce fully.”
Nadella pointed out that 99.7% of the men’s salaries was what women made at Microsoft last year, stressing work equality is something Microsoft takes very seriously. He said “equal pay for equal work” and “equal opportunity for equal work” are two main principles that guide his approach to solving this problem.
But Nadella acknowledged there’s still a long way to go to establish not just pay equality, but ethnic and gender equality at work.
“The real issue is, do we have enough people of different ethnicity, and women in those levels? Do we have them in my SLT [senior leadership team], do we have them in, you know, our corporate vice president ranks? Are we promoting them as vigorously? So there are a lot of other secondary things that we have to go actively work.”
Check out the interview in the video below: