I think his follow-up statement is helpful to read alongside the article. A portion:
“Toward the end of the interview, Maria asked me what advice I would offer women who are not comfortable asking for pay raises. I answered that question completely wrong. Without a doubt I wholeheartedly support programs at Microsoft and in the industry that bring more women into technology and close the pay gap. I believe men and women should get equal pay for equal work. And when it comes to career advice on getting a raise when you think it’s deserved, Maria’s advice was the right advice. If you think you deserve a raise, you should just ask.”
I think his original advice was terrible, but I’m suspicious of the article’s quick jump to sexism. In fact, it’s not a high quality article, IMO, and doesn’t belong on Lobsters.
Here is the reality. Microsoft knows how much they pay their people, what they do, and if they are men and women. If he really thought that men and women should be payed equally for equal work, he can do it. He has that power. But he won’t because he would probably be fired.
The fact that Microsoft is NOT paying equally for equal work is precisely because they don’t care. And really it is an advantage for Microsoft’s board of directors not to pay equally because it raises profit. Which of course shareholders love because the next idiot will buy the shares at a higher price.
So yeah, if he REALLY cared, even more than his own job, he can be radical and do it. And would get fired. But at least the women who work their would get their raises.
Of course, karma is something which comes back to you in your next incarnation, not this one. So perhaps in this case he means if you want a payrise you’d better change jobs …
I read it as, “Karma will come to you, as long as you do not come to Microsoft.”
I have no idea why any woman in tech would ever want to work there when the CEO basically outright tells you not to bother asking for a raise.
(women in quotes because ‘women’ are one big homogeneous horde, apparently)