Friday, October 10, 2014

Satya Nadella Puts His Foot in His Mouth

Microsoft's new CEO may never get his foot out of his digestive system. Addressing the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, here's what he said:
“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, That’s good karma. It will come back. That’s the kind of person that I want to trust, that I want to give more responsibility to.”
Right. We should just trust a system that has been screwing women forever. As we all know, men get ahead in computing by waiting patiently to be given the "right raise" by "the system" and by being the kind of person executives just want to give more responsibility. (That superpower business is also stupid. Please don't insult me by saying I have special superpowers as you tell me not to ask for a raise.)

Actually, men get ahead by asking for what they want, whether it's the right raise or more responsibility. Women are far more likely to doubt themselves and their qualifications for a particular job. Here's an article in the Times explaining just how wrong Nadella is.

Dr. Maria Klawe, computer scientist and president of Harvey Mudd College, was interviewing him, and what she told the audience was how her poor negotiating skills may have cost her $50,000/year when she was at Princeton. 

He tried to backtrack on Twitter, but really, he might consider a real apology.
“Was inarticulate re how women should ask for raise,” he wrote in a Twitter post. “Our industry must close gender pay gap so a raise is not needed because of a bias.”
What bullshit. He was perfectly articulate and he wasn't discussing either bias or how women should ask for a raise.

Nadella just set back diversity at Microsoft by I don't know how much - what sensible woman in computing would want to work for a company whose CEO says something so stupid? I would just assume that he is accurately reflecting the corporate culture, and I'd stay far, far away. 

1 comment:

Dr.B said...

My male boss lobbied aggressively for raises. He didn't just sit and wait.