Recently the CEO of Microsoft, Satya NadellaIt, apologized for the following chin-dropping comment he made at women in technology conference.
It’s not really about asking for the raise, but knowing and having faith that the system will actually give you the right raises as you go along. And that, I think, might be one of the additional superpowers that quite frankly women who don’t ask for a raise have. Because that’s good karma. It’ll come back, because somebody’s going to know that’s the kind of person that I want to trust.
So, if you do a good job, it will all work out in the end, right? He might have meant karma is better when we focus on the collective enterprise than our own self-interest. But there is plenty of evidence that when women wait for "somebody to know that they're the kind of person someone can trust" they get stuck in the proverbial typing pool.
One reason characters like Annie Oakley (above), Scarlett,* Maya,** and Hermione*** resonate is that they don't settle for the pat on the head -- and sometimes they spit in the glass of water before serving it. They are assertive (and in Scarlet's case, ethically compromised), push through societal stereotypes, build on their accomplishments to overcome hardship.
The man at the top of Microsoft (who has never walked a mile in a pair of peep toe pumps) offers a formula for exploitation. And asking for what you deserve is not limited to seeking a raise. Most woman I know are more comfortable advocating for family, friends, or causes then on their own behalf. Unsure it you should be asking for more? You can:
1. Do a Great Job: Not only because it yields great karma, but because it gives you options.
2. Be Strategic: Choose a time when you are indispensable to the enterprise.
3. Document your Return on Investment( ROI): Use email updates, reports, and a summary of outcomes so the metrics to create a case of why you deserve what you are requesting.
4. Be Intentional About Moving On: Don't let your heart cloud good judgment, if you desire something better, ask for it. If you are rebuffed, take the leap.
Think of your favorite heroine and ask, "What would [Annie, Scarlett, Maya, or Hermione] do? You have so much to offer. Be your own hero -- go get what you want.
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*Gone with the Wind, ** I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings ***Harry Potter