Nadella speaks during the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing
Nadella speaks during the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing.gracehopper.org

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said he was completely wrong in stating that women in technology should not ask for raises but have faith in the "system".

Nadella made the statement which received widespread criticism on 9 October at a three-day conference in Phoenix, Arizona, when asked about how women employed in the technology field should get ahead in their jobs.

"It's not really about asking for the raise, but knowing and having faith that the system will actually give you the right raises as you go along," Nadella said during the event, the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing.

"Because that's good karma. It'll come back because somebody's going to know that's the kind of person that I want to trust."

Maria Klawe, president of Harvey Mudd College and a member of Microsoft's board, immediately opposed Nadella, saying the viewpoint was "one of the very few things that I disagree with you on."

Subsequently, Nadella faced widespread criticism over his statement on the social media.

"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," Nadella tweeted.

Later in an email to Microsoft employees, he admitted that he was completely wrong.

"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," he wrote.

"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."

The issue comes as gender pay gap across the globe have become a hot debate topic.

According to a study published by the American Association of University Women, full-time year-round female workers were paid 78% of what men were paid in 2013.

About 29% of all Microsoft employees are women, according to data published by the company. Its female workforce in tech-related jobs is just 17.1%.