“I answered that question completely wrong.”

October 14, 20141 minute read

– Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, referring to comment he made that instead of asking for a raise, women should depend on the system and be rewarded with good karma. An uproar followed with many pointing out that many women face pay inequities that the system hasn’t taken care of in the past. Participants in the 2014 AWESOME Symposium encouraged women to ask, not only for higher pay, but also for bigger challenges. Read more in REALITY CHECK – Volume Three

Nadella’s interviewer, Harvey Mudd College president Marie Klawe, who is also a Microsoft Board member, immediately offered some advice of her own. She said women need to “do their homework,” and know what a reasonable salary is for the job, then role-play with a trusted friend, how they will ask for that salary.

Klawe said that she was often uncomfortable about asking for things for herself. When she was offered a position as dean of engineering at Princeton, she said, “Just pay me whatever you think is right.” The result, she conjectured, was $50,000 less than she could have earned.