Microsoft CEO Tells Women They Don’t Have To Ask For Raises, Women Laugh And Laugh And Laugh

nadellaMicrosoft CEO Satya Nadella is apologizing today for comments he made during a speech at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, which it turns out was among the very worst possible times to be condescending to women in the tech industry. Who knew?

During a presentation on Thursday, Nadella told the women in the crowd that they should not ask for raises, but should instead rely on their super powers and karma to bring them the raises they deserve. Don’t believe me? Here’s a quote from his speech in Salon:

”It’s not really about asking for a raise, but knowing and having faith that the system will give you the right raise,” Nadella said in conversation with Dr. Maria Klawe, a member of the Microsoft Board, Harvey Mudd College president and computer scientist.


”That might be one of the initial ”˜super powers,’ that quite frankly, women (who) don’t ask for a raise have,” stated to Klawe. ”It’s good karma. It will come back.”

Yes. Because “the system” has done so well for women. Never mind that the pay gap between men and women in tech is even greater than in other fields. We just need to trust it, y’all. Shhhhhhhh…hush now. Just be patient and believe in yourself. Go get a copy of The Secret and make a vision board right now that has dollar signs and photos of luxury items like rent all over it.

Luckily his interviewer, Maria Klawe, picked her jaw off the floor quickly enough to disagree with him on the spot, and instead recommended that women research appropriate salary levels and practice asking for raises. Humph. Sounds like someone doesn’t believe in karma.

Nadella went further, saying that women who don’t ask for raises are more trustworthy. No, for serious! Here is my proof, this time from BBC News:

“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,”

So ladies, don’t be one of those noisy bitches who demands to be paid what you’re worth. Bosses hate that. You know what bosses love? People who don’t ask for more money. Now run along.

To his credit, Nadella knows how to apologize after a major fuck up. In an email sent to his staff today, he said:

“Maria asked me what advice I would offer women who are not comfortable asking for pay raises. 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. 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.”

But still, is it right to tell women who aren’t comfortable asking for raises that it’s okay, and that karma will reward them for their silence? Shouldn’t they be encouraged to ask anyway, and be coached on how to do it in a way that is both comfortable for them and effective?

Nah. Let’s go with “karma” instead.

(Photo: Twitter)

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