Nope. Nope nope nope. Nope.
Oh Microsoft. What. The. Fuck.
Alright. First off, read this.
That is an example not just of the utter ignorance that exists around fair pay and sexism, but it is also a bright shining reminder of why we need more women in leadership positions in major corporations.
So, to remind folks, white women make about 77 cents for every dollar a man makes, with Black women and Latina women making even less. Even when controlling for things like experience and life choices, women STILL make less. And, as the above article points out, women are underrepresented in technology fields; just 17% of the tech jobs at Microsoft are filled by women.
If you are one of the women who makes it into technology but realizes that you are underpaid for the work you do, what should you do? Well, experts have suggested that women are more timid in salary negotiations, so we should be bold and brave and ask for what we deserve, right? Right?
Nope. In addition to studies that show women in interviews are often punished for attempting to negotiate salary, we now have a CEO of a major corporation (and one that is headquartered where I live) saying that women should just trust that the system will work itself out, even suggesting that there is something off-putting about a woman asking for what she wants.
Fuck. That. Noise. Just letting the system work itself out doesn’t work for me. It works for the men in charge, obviously, but it’s a whole different level of ignorance to assume that if you just let things be, the chips will fall in a fair and equitable manner. I mean, I guess that’s kind of the basic premise of libertarianism, but we know that’s bullshit. If power is concentrated with some people, they’ll work to keep that power. They won’t just benevolently start handing out power (or raises) to people as part of some magical karmic reward.
He later ‘clarified’ his comments on Twitter (I’m guessing someone in Microsoft’s corporate communications office lost their shit and wrote up a tweet for him) and acknowledged the need to eliminate the wage gap. Now, I get that people can misspeak. No one is perfect, and no one is on their game 100% of the time. But this was a conference specifically for women. Read the room, dude. If this is what he says when speaking publicly to women, I have to wonder what he says privately.