After facing criticism following his comment at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in computing conference, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has started a new initiative to promote companywide diversity and equal pay. At the conference, when a woman asked Nadella to advise her on how a woman can ask for a pay raise, he told her to wait and believe in Karma.


The initiative entails; ensuring equal pay for women, recruiting more diverse talent and training employees to make diversity prevalent. In an internal memo to staff last week, he apologized again for the comment and said, “[Microsoft needs to] expand the diversity of our workforce at the senior ranks and re-double our efforts in college and other hiring.”


The Microsoft CEO added, “My advice underestimated exclusion and bias – conscious and unconscious – that can hold people back. Any advice that advocates passivity in the face of bias is wrong,” reported Businessweek.


[Picture Courtesy: ZD Net]

Women across Silicon Valley such as Sheryl Sandberg and activists such as Jesse Jackson have been advocating the need for diversity and gender equality at the workplace. According to  Businessweek, currently only 29% of Microsoft’s total workforce comprises of women. The company has a board with a black chairman, John Thompson, and two female directors.


The report also stated that Nadella apologized again for the remark and said the incident was a “humbling” experience in the memo. He also ‘vowed at the end of the memo that he would go back to the 20-year-old technology conference for women in 2015 to “do great things.”’