The CEO of Microsoft, Satya Nadella, has apologized for remarks he made advising women not to ask for a pay raise, but to have "faith in the system."
Speaking, ironically, at a conference to celebrate women in technology, Nadella also suggested women not asking for a raise was actually "good karma."
The comments have sparked outrage and humor among tech leaders, female professionals and those who are turning to social media to voice their opinions. Shares of Microsoft had been trading slightly lower, earlier Friday. According to one male user on Twitter, "Satya Nadella shouldn't worry though. If he has faith in Wall Street, the stock will go back up. It's good karma. Oy."
Not only did Nadella make the comments at a conference for women in Phoenix, Arizona—October is also the Small Business Administration's Women's Small Business Month.
Poor timing and controversy aside, Nadella's gaffe points to larger issues that face the technology sector—too few women in technology roles, little capital that goes to women-founded start-ups and overall low diversity among large tech companies.
Several tech leaders—including Microsoft—have released demographic data and diversity reports. Broadly, the ranks of minorities and women inside tech companies are thin.
According to data as of Sept. 30, 2014, 29 percent of Microsoft's global workforce is made up of women, and 71 percent are men. Among U.S. workers, about 60.6 percent are white, and 28.9 percent are Asian.