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Jon Talton

Analysis and commentary on economic news, trends and issues, with an emphasis on Seattle and the Northwest.

October 10, 2014 at 10:37 AM

Vote: Nadella on women asking for raises

Am I the only one who has noticed that the “mainstream” Internet media and social media must be fed on a constant diet of high-profile events involving victimization? It has replaced the reliable staple of “missing blonde teens” on cable television from a few years ago.

I don’t mean to sound cynical. But indignation about such things as the name of the Washington football team, sexual assaults in the military and on campus, and police shootings of young black men is cheap. Policies to actually address these sometimes complex problems rarely go far. Indeed, the political makeup of most of America is trending ever more reactionary, not merely conservative.

Thus comes Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. The shorthand fanning outrage is that he told women not to ask for raises, and at a conference for women in technology no less. What he actually said was more nuanced and worth reading and arguing on its own terms.

A key question is whether he would give the same advice to a man? And how long has it been since any of us, male or female, has had a raise — or ever been successful in asking for one that went beyond the company’s baselines (unless you had another job offer in hand)? In any event, he quickly recanted and damage control went into hyperdrive.

His “gaffe” does come as the tech industry is under scrutiny for not hiring and advancing more women, and amid questions over pay equity. As with a quarterback who threw a game-losing interception, Nadella no doubt wishes he had that moment back. Meanwhile, will it be another moment of loud Internet indignation that doesn’t change the real fundamentals?

What do you think?


This Week’s Links:

The jobs report’s dark side, in charts | Bloomberg

S&P 500 companies spend 95 percent of profits on buybacks and payouts | Bloomberg

How economic inequality and growth are connected | Washington Center for Equitable Growth

Shadow banking risks persist | Tim Taylor

Busts hurt more than booms help | Vox

China’s balancing act | Project Syndicate

Fed aim off target as inflation descends near danger zone | Bloomberg

Amazon vs. Europe | Seeking Alpha


Today’s Econ Haiku:

Auto driving cars

What could possibly go wrong?

One, we like to steer


 

Follow me on Twitter @jontalton


 

Comments | More in Microsoft | Topics: Satya Nadella, Women in tech, Women's pay equity

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