In an internal memo leaked to the media, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella outlines three ways he intends to improve company culture after learning a hard lesson at a conference for women in the tech industry.
Roughly a week ago, Nadella, first male to ever head the 20-year-old Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing event, made a huge misstep when discussing how women should approach wage negotiations.
It seems that as the Microsoft CEO was working up his own career ladder, a female boss recommended he trust in the company's system and good karma to reward him for the effort he'd put into the organization. Nadella churned out a similar adage at the Grace Hopper conference, overlooking the fact the women make approximately 78 percent of what their equally qualified male counterparts earn.
Nadella apologized for the gaff shortly after the conference concluded and the bash lash rolled in. But now the Microsoft chief has listed three ways he intends to improve the culture of diversity inside his company and eliminate both the conscious and unconscious biases that permeate.
"One of the answers I gave at the conference was generic advice that was just plain wrong. I apologize," states Nadella in the leaked memo picked up by GeekWire. "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."
Nadelle's first agenda item is keeping the focus on "equal pay for equal work." Second, he plans to bring in "more diverse talent."
Lastly, Nadella says Microsoft needs to expand training on how to cultivate a more inclusive culture. He said he plans to report back on his efforts in an employee Q&A session.
"We are going to work side by side with Gwen Houston, GM, Diversity and Inclusion, each month to drive progress on the three actions above, and Gwen and her team will continue to gather input, refine our existing plans and develop new approaches. I'll report back to you in future all-employee Q&A sessions starting in November," he wrote in the memo.