Microsoft’s CEO Just Said One of the Worst Things Possible to a Room Full of Women

LE WEB PARIS 2013 - CONFERENCES - PLENARY 1 - SATYA NADELLA

During an event on Thursday made up of a mostly female audience, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said the following when it came to women getting equal pay:

“It’s not really about asking for a raise, but knowing and having faith that the system will give you the right raise.”

Nadella then went on and pretty much said that those who need a raise should not assert themselves and simply trust the system.

“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.”

After the obvious backlash from the internet, the backpedaling began:

Maria Klawe, a computer scientist, president of Harvey Mudd College and member of Microsoft’s board of directors, as well as the moderator of the discussion, also disagreed upon hearing Nadella’s statement, citing a time she received about $50,000 less in pay than she should have been as dean of engineering at Princeton University due to waiting to discuss her salary.

The New York Times also added more context to what Nadella said. We’ll let you be the judge of whether it sounds any better:

“During the discussion, [Klawe] prompted Mr. Nadella for advice for women who are uncomfortable seeking promotions and career advancement […]

Mr. Nadella said his own thinking on the matter was influenced by Mike Maples, a former Microsoft executive, who had a memorable saying about how human resources systems were inefficient in the short term and efficient in the long term. “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,” Mr. Nadella said, according to a webcast of the event.

But then he continued: “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 because somebody’s going to know that’s the kind of person that I want to trust. That’s the kind of person that I want to really give more responsibility to. And in the long-term efficiency, things catch up.”

H/T: Valleywag
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