nadella speaks during grace hopper celebration

Why I Agree as well as Differ with Satya Nadella’s Recent Statement?

Now many of you might be unaware of the statement made by Microsoft’s first Indian CEO – Satya Nadella. When asked about advice for Women interested in advance careers but uncomfortable asking for pay increases during an on-stage discussion at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing conference in Arizona, here’s what he said, “that the system will actually give you the right raises as you go along”.

He also added inviting hatred from all career oriented women globally that women who do not ask for better remuneration have a “superpower” in the form of “good karma, which will come back”.

I completely differ to his opinion that Women should wait for their good karma so that they get the pay which they deserve. It’s completely baseless and idiotic when Men are earning way too high for the same work that a Women is capable of doing too.

So where do I agree with him?

I don’t exactly agree with him but I would like to point out a scenario where most of the Indian Women who are career oriented at the beginning change their course of interest or focus after marriage. In a country like India, the woman is always expected first to finish all household chores and only then focus on their career. Although, today many parents have changed that mindset and push their kids whether it’s the son or daughter to pursue their career, they have their hands tied after they have married off their daughter.

After marriage, most of the women has to start focusing on her husband and his family. She has to take care of all the household chores in order to get the tag of “Aadarsh Bahu” as we see in Indian Television Serials and then seek their permission if she could continue with her career.

I am not saying that there are no families in India who support their daughter-in-law to pursue her career and consider it as the same as their son’s career. There are also many husbands out there who share the household chores equally with their wives without a single question as they believe that it’s a team work as a couple.

But such rarity in the attitude and mentality is very low in numbers in our country.

Company’s Point of View:

As a company, they need to focus only on one basic thing which is profit. If the company makes profit then it can take care of their employees well. It’s a well-known fact in India that a company prefers men over women for serious stuff or those projects that require 100% focus and priority. This can be determined by researching on the ratio of Men to Women on higher posts such as Team Leaders, Managers and upper level Management.

Men would always win that battle as they have nothing else to focus on other than their career. And going by the psychology I don’t consider that the companies preferring Men over Women to be on the wrong side.

Here are some reasons that I have observed myself:

  • Once married, it’s very unlikely that women will join the company back and even if they do, they will take more time to rejoin than men after marriage.
  • If the husband gets transferred, it’s the wife who has to make the sacrifice by default to quit her job and leave for another city and start job hunting again.
  • She works almost 24 hours and looks exhausted and drained because she has to look after both her office work and house hold chores.
  • The priorities often change for women after marriage so many managers or team leaders understand that and keep them away from serious stuff or projects which are actually the best opportunities to get a raise or promotion.
  • Women who were career oriented at the beginning, after marriage consider their job simply as a formality to help her family financially.

These are few reasons why Companies prefer Men over Women and it’s the truth and could be proved by a simple survey. Being said that I am not taking away anything from those women who are 100% focused on their career and perform better than men.

There have been examples in the past and there would be such examples in the future as well where Women would climb up the ladder of success on their own by their talents and sheer hard work..

So what could be done to change the attitude of the Company?

I know it may be way too theoretical than practical in a country like India. It’s way too much of talking about Women Empowerment in India and now it’s the time to act on it. The overall attitude of the society, the men and the women must change to empower women in this country as well as globally.

Here are some ways which I believe can give the women equal opportunity to succeed in the corporate world:

  • The attitudes of the companies wouldn’t change overnight. For that women have to start giving importance to their career at the same level as they do to their family after marriage. It may be split into 50-41% favoring family first. But nowhere it should go down to 70-30% favoring the family.
  • Marriage is important but more than that it’s important to find the right person to marry. Career oriented women must look for a husband who would support them in pursuing their career without binding her into the barriers of house hold chores and other responsibilities.
  • Men should now change their mentality. They must respect the women and their career goals. If they can’t help or support them achieve their career goals, then at least they must make sure that they don’t make hurdles on the Woman’s path of success and glory. If the husband supports and takes a stand for his wife, the in-laws will automatically back out.

Today and in the past, many women in India have achieved success and glory in different fields as Doctors, Engineers, Lawyers, Sports, Writers, Artists, Astronauts, Political Leaders, CEOs etc. They had the talent, they took the opportunity and with some support from their family, they achieved huge success and glory.

And, I am 100% sure that the numbers of successful women in terms of pursuing their career goals would increase in the coming future as people are changing, the society is changing and so is their attitude towards women.

Image Courtesy:

More from the Author