Hey, let’s all bash up Satya Nadella… but first, how many of you women demand equal pay or a well-deserved pay rise? How many of us speak about money and scales with our employers?
I work in a country where I pay a double penalty… first as an Asian passport holder, then as female professional. And truth be told I’ve never negotiated.
If it felt too low, I would just not take it; but didn’t try to argue or sell myself.
I would ask if there was disparity based on nationality. To this I’ve received all kinds of odd answers; from how a cup of coffee costs more in London than it does in Mumbai, hence salary would differ (hey, guess what, but we are paying bills in Doha!) to how Western education was more expensive that what I paid for.
This to an extent I would protest and speak against.
But I was and am too conscious about pulling out the gender-card. Should I draw attention to my sex and be seen as being overly sensitive? Should I remind them that I am a woman…? Should I just quietly take the deal before a man outspeaks me at the negotiation table and walks away with a few bucks more?
Ironically, I continue to feel that a good employer will be fair (karma?) and recognise what I bring to the table… And every time I signed on the dotted line, I did believe that it was so. This rationalisation ringing in my head: When they see my work they will give me more.
And it has happened. It also hasn’t.
My male colleagues were different. They asked, and they got. During appraisals, between appraisals, with a second offer in hand, without a second offer in hand… They continued asking even when they didn’t get it.
I rarely saw this amongst women. Not my peers, not the ones who reported to me.
So when Satya Nadella put his geeky feet in his mouth, was he merely describing the best of us? Maybe the best of his female staff didn’t ask, and were slavishly grateful for the ‘recognition’ that came their way, all the same. So he thinks, that’s the way it should be.