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Nadella underlines diversity changes to be made at Microsoft in memo

Satya Nadella is making further reparations following his controversial comment regarding female workers and pay rises.

This affair blew up a week ago, after Nadella was asked a question during an interview at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing.

He was asked how women are best off approaching the subject of a pay rise with their employer, and replied that "it's not just really about asking for the raise, but knowing that the system will actually give you the right raises as you go along. And that I think might be one of the additional superpowers that quite frankly women who don't ask for a raise have, because that's good karma. It'll come back."

This did not go down at all well, and Nadella issued a swift damage control email to Microsoft staff apologising for his comment, saying he was "completely wrong" in retrospect.

Related: Satya Nadella apologises after misguided comment about women

Nadella has now gone further in a new memo, which told Microsoft staff that his advice "underestimated exclusion and bias – conscious and unconscious – that can hold people back".

Moreover, in the memo he underlined efforts which Microsoft is now going to make to improve its levels of diversity across different departments, engineering and leadership included (two areas where female staff members are particularly thin on the ground).

GeekWire published the memo, which stated that there were three major areas where Microsoft could improve things. Firstly, to focus on "equal pay for equal work and equal opportunity for equal work", and secondly to "recruit more diverse talent to Microsoft at all levels of the company" – with the senior leadership team to be given new goals to increase diversity and inclusion.

The third point the memo makes is to "expand training for all employees on how to foster an inclusive culture".

This should go some way towards placating folks who called for action rather than just a mere apology last week, but at this stage, the memo is still just words. Still, it appears that good is definitely coming from Nadella's foot-in-mouth moment...