Good morning, Broadsheet readers. Read on to hear how Sallie Krawcheck responded to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella’s pay comments, and to learn why his remark may not be as terrible as it first sounded. Hope you all have a great start to your week!
ALSO IN THE HEADLINES
• Oprah hits the road. This fall, Winfrey has been touring cities like Newark, Houston, Miami and Seattle with her series of “The Life You Want” weekends. The events feature so much motivational speaking that many attendees said it felt like some sort of religious gathering. “I don’t worship at the altar of Oprah, so I found it rather strange that people around me were chanting,” one guest told The New York Times.
• For Hillary, what’s old is new again. The Clinton Presidential Library released 30,000 pages of previously-restricted White House records on Friday. The files include everything from information on Hillary Clinton’s failed “HillaryCare” push to the Monica Lewinsky scandal. The documents convey “her intimate involvement in nearly every aspect of professional Washington for more than two decades.”
• The woman who made water bottles trendy. Sarah Kauss wasn’t cut out for tax auditing, so she decided to quit her job in 2010 and make a water bottle that would be cool enough to stop people from using plastic. Kauss now is projecting $10 million in sales this year for S’well bottles, the sleek, stainless-steel vessels that come in a variety of colors.
• Battling against perfectionism. Anita Krohn Traaseth, the CEO of Innovation Norway and the former managing director of Hewlett-Packard Norway, recently published a book about her career, Good Enough for the Bastards. The title is a phrase that “has saved [her] from being an unnecessary perfectionist. If you don’t take care of yourself, set your own standards, decide when enough is enough, learn to balance and rest, you’ll have limited success. I learned that life was not about striving for perfection.”
• Back from the dead. When Penny Herscher took over data analytics company FirstRain in 2004, it was bankrupt and on the brink of disappearing. The CEO began building the company back up from scratch, changing the location of the company’s headquarters and raising $20 million in new funds. Today, the firm is considered a leader in business analytics. “Growth is a lot easier than [going in] the other direction,” she says.
Why Microsoft’s CEO may have been right about asking for a raise
Now that the witch-hunt has died down a bit, it might be time to cut Microsoft’s CEO a little slack.
Last week, Satya Nadella made a controversial comment about women and pay. On stage at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, Maria Klawe – the Harvey Mudd College president who was named one of the world’s 50 greatest leaders in Fortune for her work recruiting female engineering students — asked Nadella what advice he has for women uncomfortable with asking for pay raises. “It’s not really about asking for a raise, but knowing and having faith that the system will give you the right raise,” he responded.
The crowd was noticeably alarmed by Nadella’s recommendation. Research shows that women are less likely to ask for a raise, which fuels the persistent gender wage gap. In 2013, female full-time workers were paid 78% of what men were paid.
After a swarm of negative attention in the press and on social media, the CEO quickly recanted his statement. He acknowledged that he answered the question “completely wrong” and firmly stated that he believes men and women should get equal pay for equal work. “If you think you deserve a raise, you should just ask,” he wrote in a letter to employees.
Yet Nadella’s second answer may be as ill advised as his first. Asking directly for a pay raise may be poor advice for workers regardless of their gender, say experts and several high-paid female execs.
“You never ask for more money,” Victoria Medvec, the executive director of the Center for Executive Women at the Kellogg School of Management, said last week in a panel discussion at the 2014 Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit. “You ask for more of a package. As you go into a negotiation, you always make it about what you achieving for the business. The compensation should be at caboose of the offer. It is just along for the ride.”
Click over to Fortune.com to read my full story.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
• Do quotas work for female politicians? Perhaps not. While Brazil has mandated that 30% of political candidates must be women, far fewer actually get elected. There are more women elected in other parts of South America where there are no quotas.
• Where’s Thor when you need her? Women who want to work in comics face an uphill battle, and comic giant Marvel is finally taking the diversity shortage seriously. Jeanine Schaefer, Marvel’s senior manager for talent acquisition, says the Walt Disney-owned company is “aware that we don’t have as many women working for us as we have men” and executives are focused on “mentoring women when they come in the door, making sure we’re placing them where they can flourish.”
ON MY RADAR
|Going to school is not only learning about different subjects. It teaches you communication. It teaches you how to live a life. It teaches you about history. It teaches you about how science is working. And other than that, you learn about equality, because students are provided the same benches. They sit equally—it shows us equality. It teaches students how to—how to live with others together, how to accept each other’s language, how to accept each other’s tradition and each other’s religion. It also teaches us justice. It also teaches us respect. It teaches us how to live together.|
|-- Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai.|