Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella recently came under fire for some comments he made at the annual Grace Hopper Celebration on Oct. 9.
Nadella advised women not to ask for a raise but to have "faith that the system will give you the right raise," according to ReadWrite. He also suggested that this trust is one of women's "super powers" and that "good karma" will help women get what they want.
Needless to say, many people were outraged at Nadella's comments, especially because they were said at an event celebrating women in computing. He later apologized saying, "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."
Well, comments like these do nothing to close the gender wage gap or help women find more acceptance in the tech industry. So maybe we should just tune statements like this out and instead pay more attention to what some of the most powerful women in tech today have to say about what it's really like being female in the industry and how to rise above adversity.
Marissa Mayer, Yahoo CEO
"Find something you're passionate about and just love. Passion is really gender-neutralizing." - Martha Stewart's Women with Vision series, 2011
Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO
"People think that women don't negotiate because they're not good negotiators, but that's not it. ... Women don't negotiate because it doesn't work as well for them. Women have to say, 'I really add a lot of value, and it's in your interest to pay me more.' I hate that advice, but I want to see women get ahead." - Lean In book launch event, 2013
Ursula Burns, Xerox CEO
"As you move up - as you engage more and more people in the company and take on broader roles — this idea of quote-unquote 'looking the part' becomes more and more of a challenge when you don't look the part. ... But there's nothing I can do, or wanted to do, about being a black female — I kind of like both of those things." - NPR, 2012
Virginia Rometty, IBM Chairman, President and CEO
"I have to say, at the time, I really never felt there was a constraint about being a woman. I really did not. Over time, and I think the biggest reason that was I never felt the constraint is I was always surrounded by people that wanted to mentor you. And, you know, I know that has always been a big topic of this conference. But that feeling of being surrounded by people, I think makes a big difference." - Fortune's Most Powerful Women Summit, 2011
Meg Whitman, Hewlett-Packard CEO
"I didn't spend a lot of time thinking about as a woman how I would manage differently — I was just happy to be managing. In some ways it was a blessing because I didn't second-guess myself, I didn't add that factor into my leadership style. I was just focused on how can I lead this young company the most effective way I can, and you know what I also over my career finally thought about is — you know there are lots of things I can change but my gender is not one of them, and so it is kind of what it is. I have to lead according to my personality, according to what I think is necessary under any set of circumstances." - Makers series, 2012