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Microsoft Took A Hit With Women
By: Cindy Wendland
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Microsoft’s new CEO Natella angered women when he said women shouldn’t ask for a pay raise but should trust in the system. He was speaking at The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, a conference to celebrate women in technology. Not surprisingly, his comments triggered much commentary, and he has since apologized. What kind of impact does a statement like that from the CEO have on Microsoft’s image and brand?

As a woman, it is always exciting to have the pay gap brought into the spotlight. There is no doubt that a pay gap exists, and women are not paid as much as men. We knew of a female attorney who happened to find the salary listing of her entire firm left on the copier. She was outraged to find some people who didn’t work as hard as her making more than her. Luckily for her, she had the facts and presented them and demanded a raise or offered to work only as hard as some who were making less than her. Her situation turned out positively. Few of us will get that gift, where the printed facts are laid out for us.

Instead, we need to continue to offer value, show worth, make contributions, and then ask for appropriate compensation. In Natella’s case, he did misspeak. Unfortunately, someone in his position does not have the luxury of misspeaking. There just aren’t as many women in technology fields. 29% of the workforce at Microsoft are women. Women at Microsoft have their own Facebook page. Few will disagree that women are wired differently than men. We do the job differently; not worse or better, just differently. We should still be paid the same for the same outcome.

Microsoft will recover from this statement about women. It will no doubt be beneficial for women at Microsoft as they will be under scrutiny to make sure the women at their company are compensated appropriately. Then it will die down until another misspoken statement. In the end, women as a whole will take whatever progress we can get, whenever we can get it.

   

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About the Author
Cindy Wendland has a background in marketing and finance. She is the creative director for an online men's health magazine, BrainBrawnBody.com, and she gets to write their leisure/travel blog. She is also a web designer helping her clients with online community engagement, websitesbywendland.com. Prior to her web years, she worked in pharmacy consulting.
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