Microsoft CEO Suggests “Good Karma” Can Bring Raises To Women In Silicon Valley, But Not To Ask For Them

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella spoke at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing in Phoenix this week, and was asked to give his advice for women wanting to ask for a raise. His answer was not well received. The quote: “It’s not really about asking for a raise, but knowing and having faith that the system will give you the right raise. That might be one of the initial ‘super powers,’ that quite frankly, women (who) don’t ask for a raise have. It’s good karma. It will come back.” Critics of the speech pointed out that for him to suggest that women not chase raises and higher paychecks shows that he is either extremely naive or woefully out of touch from the reality of a serious gender pay gap (which is exponentially worse for women in tech than in general business) Nadella has apologies for his words.

THE CONVERSATION QUESTION: How Pervasive Is The Belief That Women Should Rely On ‘Good Karma’ To Get Ahead In Business?

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2 Comments

  1. Sadly, I don’t think there is even a serious though to the ‘good karma’ as Nadella said. Its just be happy to have a job with benefits, and very happy for the token few women in key leadership to look up to. Because there is little chance for the masses to dream up to that level.

  2. To an extent I agreed with waiting on karma, but then I remembered I work in a Fortune 500 company that rewards the bold….

    Brought up as a southern girl, I always just expected that my working life would be just like my life as a little girl in southern Louisiana. Be polite, work hard, take on extra responsibilities to gain respect; and then people will see how great I am!

    Being in the corporate world for over 15 years now, I know that doesn’t work… for women… or men!

    Yes, I would love to be recognized and promoted for my hard work and initiative to fix problems before they happen… but that just doesn’t happen, regardless of the chromosome order you were given.

    The simple fact is that real corporate America, the one that gets ahead and stays there, promotes those who are not afraid to speak up. Not too afraid to take risks. Not too afraid to question and challenge old thinking. Not afraid to brag about their success.

    I used to feel that being quiet and working hard was the way… it isn’t. Too many times women in the work place been categorized as “a bitch” for being pushy, domineering, assertive (not abrasive) and decisive. I used to worry that when I spoke up at meetings, questioning those above me, that I would be seen as combative and bitchy. Well, I don’t anymore.

    Why? I have met some outstanding women in the work place that don’t think twice about throwing out good ideas whenever they want, or they shut down ideas that were not working. They didn’t give a shit about what anyone thought, other than they were trying to better the company with their ideas. And that is what is all about.

    I would never tell any women to “think like a man.” That idea is so outdated, it makes me want to puke. “Think and act for the best course of action for the company and best end result,” is what I would tell women… and men. Be loud with your ideas. Chances are, someone else is also thinking it, you were the only one bold enough to say them.

    Don’t be afraid to remind your superiors about a time when your idea kicked-ass. Tell people there idea is good, but it can be better. Don’t compete with males in the office, know you’re already equal with them and your input will help everyone in the long run.

    Fortuna Audaces Juvat, ladies… The gender ceiling broke a long time ago for us, so there is no excuse.

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