Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella is being criticized for comments he made about the gender pay gap.

Nadella, who was speaking at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing in Phoenix, Ariz., said that women should not ask for raises but instead trust that the system will provide them with the pay bump.

"It's not really about asking for a raise, but knowing and having faith that the system will give you the right raise," Nadella said.

"That might be one of the initial 'super powers' that, quite frankly, women [who] don't ask for a raise have ... It's good karma. It will come back."

To no one's surprise, his comments did not generate applause from the female contingent in the event. The crowd cheered as Maria Klawe, a member of Microsoft's board of directors, broke rank and disagreed with him.

In a Tweet, Nadella attempted to perform some damage control, essentially taking back his words as he outlined the importance of addressing the pay gap in the technology industry.

"Was inarticulate re how women should ask for raise. Our industry must close gender pay gap so a raise is not needed because of a bias," he said.

He attempted to further clarify his stance through a letter sent to Microsoft employees. This time, he admitted that his advice was wrong instead of saying that he failed to be clear about his views.

"I answered that question completely wrong. Without a doubt I wholeheartedly support programs at Microsoft and in the industry that bring more women into technology and close the pay gap. I believe men and women should get equal pay for equal work. And when it comes to career advice on getting a raise when you think it's deserved, Maria's advice was the right advice. If you think you deserve a raise, you should just ask," he wrote.

In spite of more attention being given to the subject, the gender pay gap in the United States has not improved over the last decade. According to data from the American Association of University Women, women were paid 78 cents for every dollar a man earned in 2013.

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