As many are probably aware, Microsoft’s CEO recently said that women who don’t ask for raises will enjoy “good karma.” So, his negotiation advice seems to boil down to just don’t ask and you count on the universe rewarding you in this life (or the next).
As every reader of this blog knows, that advice is problematic on many levels. For me, the fact that someone in such a high position in such a key industry feels free to say something like this just highlights how far we still have to go.
The friend who forwarded a link with this story commented that “this guy must be hoping for a job on Mad Men and think it is the 1960s…or worse.” Indeed.
Unfortunately, this guy holds tremendous power. He later recanted and said he was “inarticulate.” I’m not sure what is a good way to say women shouldn’t ask for raises. Despite efforts to manage this latest public relations storm, I think we can count on only one thing changing: This guy will be more careful in the future who he says things like this to. It’s unlikely to change how he thinks, and, I’m guessing, who gets hired, promoted, or pay raises, at Microsoft.
For a nice short analysis on why these comments are such a problem, click here.
Cynthia Alkon joined the faculty at Texas Wesleyan University School of Law in 2010. She was an assistant professor of law at the Appalachian School of Law from 2006-2010. Prior to joining academia, Professor Alkon was a criminal defense lawyer and worked in rule of law development in Eastern Europe and Central Asia focusing on criminal justice reform issues. Professor Alkon worked for nearly seven years as a deputy public defender in Los Angeles County. Professor Alkon then joined the American Bar Association Central and East European Law Initiative working as a Rule of Law Liaison in Belarus for two years (1998-2000). After Belarus Professor Alkon was the head of the legal department for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) in Albania. From 2002-2006 Professor Alkon was the Head of the Rule of Law Unit for the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (OSCE/ODIHR). In that position Professor Alkon supervised the OSCE/ODIHR Rule of Law Unit’s criminal justice reform assistance projects in Central Asia, the Caucasus and Eastern Europe.
Professor Alkon’s scholarship focuses on criminal dispute resolution, comparative criminal procedure and rule of law reform. Professor Alkon looks critically at current rule of law reform programs and is particularly interested in examining how different dispute resolution processes in criminal cases may contribute to rule of law development in countries in transition. Professor Alkon is a contributor to Indisputably.org, a member of the Law Professor Blogs Network.