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Instant Karma’s (Not) Going To Get You (a Raise)

October 10, 2014

good karmaI believe in karma. I do. This Wikipedia line sums it up for me:

“Good intent and good deed contribute to good karma and future happiness, while bad intent and bad deed contribute to bad karma and future suffering.”

So while Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella probably isn’t enjoying the taste of the shoe leather he put in his mouth yesterday, when he says he was “inarticulate” making his point, I believe him. Mr. Nadella was speaking at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing when he uttered to the mostly women in attendance, “It’s not really about asking for a raise, but knowing and having faith that the system will give you the right raise.” He went on to say that women who don’t ask for a raise have a sort of karmic superpower, and “It’s good karma. It will come back.”

Cue the crickets…

When you consider the definition of karma above, it can be interpreted as, “just do a good job and your efforts will be rewarded.” I agree with that, too, except it’s pretty rare that any employee is approached by their manager with the message, “hey, you’re doing a great job. Here’s more money.” So then, the issue is the same for men and women, right? Uh, well, no. Even if the numbers reported in this article are true, at best, women are paid only 91% of their male peers. It seems the 77 cents number bandied about isn’t quite that bad when adjustments for things like age, experience, occupation, and industry are made.

Oh, and then there’s the perception of “assertive” women by some. If that’s the attitude of the management in your company, find a new company. Given the overall downward pressure on wages, it’s better to make sure you’re paid what the job is worth when you walk in the door, and no less. If you feel you’re underpaid for the value you provide, ask for a raise and have some numbers to make your case. If your employer rejects your request, then take your talents to South Beach in the form of another company that values them fairly. It’ll be their loss. As a matter of fact, check out Kronos

Karma’s a b… Well, it can be bad, too.

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