Men should be particularly careful when giving opinion on as sensitive a topic as gender disparity in the corporate world. Especially if the man in question is the chief executive of one of the largest IT companies of the world and is addressing an event celebrating women.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has learnt that the hard way.
Speaking at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing in Phoenix, Nadella said that women need not ask for a raise and instead should trust the system to give them their dues. He said this as a response to the question – what advice he would give to women who are not comfortable asking for pay rises.
He even went on to say that not asking for raise was “good karma” that would help a boss realise the employee could be trusted and should have more responsibility. (Microsoft employees take cue!).
“That might be one of the initial ‘super powers,’ that quite frankly, women who don’t ask for a raise have
Good Karma? I don’t even know what that means. Maybe he wants us to believe in divine intervention for workplace success.
Nadella got (and still getting) a taste of bad karma instantly as his comment drew negative responses on Twitter.
In a forced u-turn, he wrote an email to Microsoft employees saying: I answered that question completely wrong. If you think you deserve a raise, you should just ask.”
He also took to Twitter to say he was “inarticulate”. Inarticulate? It was downright condescending.
Microsoft’s own workplace diverisity data showed that only 29% of Microsoft’s general workforce are women and only 17% of its tech employees are women.
Dear Satya Nadella,
Gender disparity at work is a touchy issue and women feel very, very, very strongly about it.
Computer Weekly’s own survey shows that:
- The average number of women in technology teams is 12%, down from 15% last year
- 71% of men have asked for a pay rise compared to 61% of women
Always remember Satya, “Hell has no wrath like a woman scorned.”
And oh, while on the same subject, David Cameron, please don’t ever utter the words “calm down dear” to us.
– a peeved woman in IT