While catching up on my reading this week, I came across an article from DiversityInc that stopped me in my tracks. The title of the article alone will tell you why it is concerning: U.S. Senate Candidate: No One Cares About Women's Issues.
In this article, Albert Lin explains,
In an appearance on FOX News Channel, U.S. Senate candidate Scott Brown (R-N.H.) alienated more than half his prospective constituency when he insisted that voters do not care about women's issues such as reproductive rights and equal pay.
Really? In 2014?
Two questions quickly presented themselves in my mind:
Question #1: What politician would potentially alienate 50 percent of the people who could vote him into office?
Which then led to...
Question #2: What business leader wouldn't want to tap into the power of half the workforce?
I came to one clear conclusion: A leader who would do this simply does not understand the power of women AND the power of helping them solve their unique challenges.
An article I read on Reuters just this morning confirmed my conclusion. Very clearly: Microsoft CEO Criticized For Suggesting Women Not Ask For Raises. At an event focusing on women in technology yesterday, Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, communicated that women should just "have faith in the system...and good karma" when it comes to raises. Wait, what? He then tried to save-face later by tweeting that he was inarticulate in his answer, continuing that "the tech industry needs to close the pay gap for women so a raise is not needed because of a bias."
Well, I agree with Mr. Nadella on one thing -- BIAS. But yesterday was HIS chance -- as a leader -- to take steps toward closing that pay gap. Not blaming it off on what "the industry" needs to do. He is the CEO of Microsoft, for goodness sake! What do YOU need to do AS A LEADER, Mr. Nadella?
Women play such a critical role in so many facets of business, including elections. What is it that causes individuals -- political leaders and business leaders -- to NOT be bold about solving the problem of unequal pay for women?
Could it be that four letter word mentioned above? That we have visited about before -- BIAS? Yes. Could it be that people just don't care? Yes.
Is this why we still have poverty? "I don't care."
Is this why there is still an unequal playing field? "I don't care."
Is this why women still get paid less than men for the same job? "I don't care."
So, here's the deal...it's time that we ALL start caring. Because we can do more if everyone cares. You. Me. U.S. Senate Candidate, Scott Brown. Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella. All of us. Together.
Wouldn't you want your sister, daughter, mother, niece or cousin to be thought of in equal terms with men? Wouldn't you want your relatives to be afforded equal pay? Would you be comfortable if your daughter came home and said that she was being overlooked for a promotion because the male senior leaders don't think that a woman can do the job?
So what will it take? It will take YOU!