This Article is From Oct 14, 2014

"May I Call you Satya?" Shobhaa De's Letter to Microsoft CEO

(Shobhaa De is an established writer, columnist, opinion shaper and social commentator, who is considered an authority on popular culture.)

Mr. Nadella (may I call you Satya ?):

I asked my mother whether or not I should ask for a raise. She stuck out her tongue and caught her ears before saying, "Aiyooo! Never! Mad or what? Haven't you heard what Sir said at the 'Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing' event?"

Frankly, I was so busy working and working for you, I must have missed it. So my amma told me everything. Now that I know it's all about my 'good karma', and that I will just be attracting bad karma if I open my big mouth to ask for that overdue raise, I am feeling better.

Maria Klawe, computer scientist and respected academician, disagrees with your karma theories. But then again, I disagree with hers. She says I should 'practice' asking for a raise with people I trust. The only person I trust is amma. And she has never left our sweet home. What does she know about salaries and raises? Sure, I can definitely do my homework and find out more about who gets paid what and all that. But  Satya, my point is (being an Indian, it's difficult to call my big boss by his first name, like they do in America. But last year I met Mr. Gates at a conference and said, "Hi Bill!" like everybody else. And he responded with a smile! Nice man), why should I 'practice', do my homework etc. Men who work here don't practice or anything. They just walk up to the boss-man and ask for more money. More perks.

They aaram se get what they ask for! I suppose they have really bad karma...but they don't know it! Wait till lightning strikes their car or something! Then they will realize they should have kept their mouths shut, like us women, and never asked for that raise.

My boss definitely trusts me. That much I know. Because I have not brought up the 'r' word in all these years. Trust is important. But it doesn't pay bills!

My amma told me you have said sorry to all women in technology and promised to 'close the pay gap'. I am happy to hear that.

But Satya, even I am going to find it difficult to wait for another five years for that to happen. It's going to be Diwali soon. Will you be closing that gap before that? I figure not.

So, guess what? I am going to take a HUGE risk with my karma tomorrow morning. I am going to walk up to my boss and say loudly and clearly, "Give me a raise. Because I deserve it. Do it now! Or else my karma will take on your karma... guess whose karma will win?"

Shobhaa De, woman, worker

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