I enjoy genealogy, and it was quite a thrill to find out that I was related (via our STILLWELL line) to Grace Murray Hopper. Admiral Hopper was, after all, a computer pioneer in every sense of the word. I have ever since then aspired to be like her. (Wikipedia link)
My dad had three daughters rather than the son he’d been hoping for. But he swallowed his old prejudices and raised us to believe we were just as good as anyone else. When I showed an interest in computing, he encouraged me, telling me that a career in technology would stand a much better chance of gender pay equity. That was quite a while ago!
Mr. Satya Nadella has thrown us back to the Dark Ages. The CEO of Microsoft stated that women whose pay was significantly less than that of comparable men should not ask for a raise, but to “have faith that the system” will take care of it. “It’s good karma.” Not only that, but he said it at a conference named after Admiral Hopper herself, to an audience of women in technology.
My employer has always shown gender fairness and in fact, so did all of my employers, so it was quite a jolt that these old prejudices exist. It didn’t take much digging to find that I’ve had rose colored glasses on: “Men who hold graduate or professional degrees earn a whopping 73 percent more than women with the same educational qualifications” as per Joint Venture Silicon Valley.
The face of industry is changing rapidly, and we must adapt and embrace. Old prejudices (even when they are quickly backpedaled) must not stand unchallenged. This is an open letter to Mr. Nadella to challenge him to walk among his employees and see that there is not really such a gender difference as he seems to believe. Our industry in particular needs good, solid, sharp resources and should not be ostracizing approximately half of them.
To quote the late, great, George Carlin, “Men are from Earth, women are from Earth. Deal with it.”