Everyone–men and women–should read this article on LinkedIn by Mika Brzezinski from MSNBC’s Morning Joe. I have not read her book, but her gut reaction was the same as mine–and I’m not a SME on the subject the same way she is. I was raised in a somewhat progressive way, in that I was raised to believe that girls could do anything boys could do, just as feminism was really starting to pave the way. But reality would hit when I wouldn’t get a job because I was a woman, or get the same pay as a guy. I wouldn’t say that’s the case with the job I have right now, thankfully. But when I heard that the CEO of Microsoft–whom I had high hopes for–made a statement like this, I was heartbroken.
It’s hard enough already to encourage women to have STEM-related jobs, and this was as big of a discouragement as it gets, from one of the biggest tech companies in the world. I’m like Mika in this article–I don’t buy his retraction. He had plenty of time to prepare a speech, and this is what he came up with, even if the talk was partially improvised. Women are the ones buying computers as much as men are. Women even make up a larger part of the gaming world buying Microsoft’s Xboxes. Seriously, Satya Nadella, did you really think an apology was enough? Nope, it’s going to take a lot more to keep women down.
There seems to be a resurgence in defining feminism these days, and it’s that it’s not all about "girl power" but about "people power"–making sure that men are not demeaned just as much as women are demeaned. True equality. An easy place to start is equal pay for equal work, and equal opportunity to earn the right to ask for a raise.
This is a hot topic, no doubt, but one that hits close to home for me, so I have to say that I agree with Mika’s analysis of the situation. Her gut reaction was the same as mine, as I’m sure it was for a lot of women in tech.