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Thursday, January 17, 2019

San Francisco (AFP) – Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella triggered uproar on Thursday after suggesting working women should trust “karma” when it comes to securing pay raises.

Nadella was speaking during an on-stage discussion at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing conference in Arizona, when he made the remarks.

Asked about advice for women interested in advancing careers but uncomfortable asking for pay increases, Nadella was quoted as responding they should just trust “that the system will actually give you the right raises as you go along.”

He reportedly went on to contend that women who don’t ask for pay raises have a “superpower” in the form of “good karma, that’ll come back.”

Moderator Maria Klawe, a college president and a member of Microsoft’s board of directors, pointedly disagreed with Nadella, triggering applause from the audience.

Studies have consistently shown women get paid less than men doing the same jobs.

Klawe advised women listening to “do your homework” to make sure their pay is on par with that of male counterparts.

Nadella later scrambled to damp down the controversy in a response on Twitter.

“Was inarticulate re how women should ask for a raise,” Nadella said in a message fired off at his @satyanadella Twitter account.

“Our industry must close gender pay gap so a raise is not needed because of a bias.”

Nadella also reportedly sent a memo to Microsoft employees apologizing for suggesting women rely on good karma instead of asking for raises, saying his reply to the question earlier was “completely wrong.”

AFP Photo/Saul Loeb

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10 responses to “Microsoft Chief Angers Women Over ‘Karma’ Pay Comment”

  1. Paul Bass says:

    Another clueless “born with a silver spoon” man talking about how he thinks women should behave.

  2. Trevor Carlson says:

    If a woman can prove a gender pay gap exists then she would have grounds for a lawsuit. I haven’t heard of many of those lately and I’m sure something like that would make big headlines and the companies involved would be crucified in the press. Large companies will not take that risk and will therefore tend to err on the side of better compensation to women for a given job description than for an equally qualified male.

    To put it another way I believe there IS a compensation gap but its actually women that have the better hand NOT men. In my company it seems the women get promoted more quickly and seem to get paid more based on the kind of lifestyles they are able to afford compared to their male counterparts. There’s also the nice benefit of paid time off for maternity leave where men don’t even have the option to take extended unpaid time off without risking their jobs…. doesn’t seem fair.

    SO – before you go believing the politically correct fluff in the article above just try and find the studies they refer to and find out for yourself if their conclusion matches what the data says. All the studies with good controls and following the best scientific methods that I’ve read support the conclusions I laid out above.

    • JPHALL says:

      How about listing some of the studies. Please make sure they are legitimate.

      • Trevor Carlson says:

        I’ll work on that as soon as you can figure out where the above article is getting its statistics. Since I didn’t write said article, why would I need to provide studies to debunk it when the article itself does not cite any credible references?

        “Studies have consistently shown women get paid less than men doing the same jobs.”

        Show me any of those studies and I can shoot holes in the scientific methodology used all day long.

        If all we have to do is make credible sounding assertions, I can do the same.

    • pitch1934 says:

      Trevor, have you ever heard of the Family Medical Leave Act? It allows new fathers time off for early child rearing?

      • Trevor Carlson says:

        Does it really? Even if the baby is a normal healthy child?… If that is true, Cool! However, I’m doubtful. Despite what may have been the best of intentions there isn’t any law that can make men and women equal. I opened my eyes once or twice and noticed something… men don’t really have the necessary God-given tools to give birth and nurse a baby so we can never be as equal as women are when it comes to raising our children. By necessity then, men will default to being the money makers and this will skew the statistics. When these and many other factors are accounted and corrected for, the “pay gap” becomes so small it’s nearly the same as the margin of error of the sampling the data was based on.

  3. phylin says:

    Anyone with a face like that has to be an idiot.

  4. leadvillexp says:

    He said what he believes. Apologizing for what he said won’t cover it up. He is a dinosaur.

  5. Dominick Vila says:

    I don’t know about “super-powers or karma”, but I believe that if an employee feels he/she is underpaid or is being discriminated against, that employee should to make his/her concerns known to management.
    I worked for a large corporation for 40 years, and I can’t say that our female workers were paid less or were denied opportunities because of their gender. Salaries were based on the educational and experience requirements for the jobs, and pay raises were influenced by performance and contributions to things like customer satisfaction, quality, and growth. Gender had absolutely nothing to do with salary or advancement opportunities.
    That is not to say that there are no companies, or a few neanderthals, still out there who do not hire women, do not offer equal pay for equal work, and who bypass women – and other minorities – when supervisory or management vacancies are available. There are, but there are increasingly a minority, and it will not be long before this issue becomes an unfortunate chapter in our history.

  6. silas1898 says:

    I worked for several large corporations. We were not supposed to discuss salaries with other employees. They would terminate you if they caught you.

    So it was impossible to determine if workers doing the same job were paid the same.

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