Why My Company Got Rid of Performance-Based Pay Raises

And why yours should, too

Kerala Taylor
10 min readMay 16, 2023

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Photo by michaelquirk/Getty Images.

In high school, I had a computer teacher who just didn’t think I was all that. The rest of my teachers did, to varying degrees, but he was nonplussed by my contributions to his class. He gave me a 3 out of 5 on my final project — a HyperCard presentation about cats — which earned me a “B” for my final grade.

Three years later, upon reviewing the long tidy column of As that comprised my high school academic record, a college counselor would remark, “Too bad about that freshman-year computer class, huh?”

He was joking of course, but to tell you the truth, I was still a little sore. It wasn’t just because I strove for perfection (which I did). It wasn’t just because I hated the way that one B interrupted an otherwise seamless narrative (which I did). It was also because the B had seemed so arbitrary at the time. We’d been told we could choose any subject for our final presentation that interested us, and I had seen no discernible difference in quality between my presentation and anyone else’s. The grade came with no comments, no rationale. Just a hastily scrawled 3/5.

I had a sneaking suspicion that my computer teacher just didn’t care much for cats. I had another sneaking suspicion that he didn’t care much for his female students. But…

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Kerala Taylor

Award-winning writer. Interrupting notions of what it means to be a mother, woman, worker, and wife. Subscribe: https://keralataylor.substack.com