Perdido 03

Perdido 03

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Microsoft CEO Says Women Should Be Satisfied With A Pat On The Head, Shouldn't Ask For Raises

Classic quote from the new Microsoft CEO that crystallizes how so many business guys think about workers, salary increases and women:

If you are a man speaking at a conference celebrating women in computing, it is probably O.K. to flatter the largely female audience members by telling them they possess “superpowers.”

It is probably unwise, though, to imply that they should not ask for a pay raise.

Just ask Satya Nadella.

Mr. Nadella, the chief executive of Microsoft, suggested on Thursday that women who don’t ask for more money from their employers would be rewarded in the long run when their good work is recognized. The remarks, at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, drew swift and negative responses on Twitter, many of them compiled in a critical article about Mr. Nadella’s comments on ReadWrite, a technology blog.


Mr. Nadella’s comment came about an hour and a half into his conversation with Maria M. Klawe, the president of Harvey Mudd College and a Microsoft board member. During the discussion, she 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.”

So many problems with Nadella's comments.

First off, no, women shouldn't be satisfied with "praise" over a "raise" - that's asking to be exploited by the company.

Second, nobody should trust that the "human resources system" will "give you the right raises as you go along" - not women, not men.

That's also asking to be exploited by the system.

Third, doesn't it seem like everybody who runs Microsoft is an ass?

Bill Gates, Steve Balmer and now this misogynistic jerk.

Fourth, can I remind everybody how well the "human resources system" at Microsoft handled layoffs this year?

They laid people off by algorithm.


  1. Philly teachers should take heed. Their take home pay is diminishing. I am sure they would appreciate the pat on the head.

    1. They might appreciate that pat on the head, but all they're getting is a kick in the face.

  2. So teachers are mostly female. And teachers mostly hate common core and everything else Bill Gates has done to the teaching profession. I'm surprised teachers don't boycott MS products.

    1. I think there is something to the idea that teachers are being attacked because they are largely female. Certainly misogynist Mike Bloomberg, sued by the US gov't for gender discrimination, sued by former workers for gender discrimination (he settled out of court w/ the workers) hated women and hated teachers. Link? Probably.