Finding a Job

Overcoming Why Women Don't Ask For More Money

Gender disparity is all around us – despite the progress being made, women still pay a higher price than men when it comes to human rights and equality as a central principle in society. The pay gap persists and despite some women breaking through the glass ceiling there has been a spate of press regarding the gender bias in the new economy tech arena as well as the venture-backed digital startup space.

Emily Amanatullah, assistant professor of management at the University of Texas has been researching possible reasons Why Women Don't Ask For More Money - women she spoke to said they hated advocating for themselves at work. But they had no trouble speaking up for colleagues.

Amanatullah devised an experiment. In a simulation, she had men and women negotiate a starting salary for themselves. Then she had them negotiate on behalf of someone else.When the women negotiated for themselves, they asked for an average of $7,000 less than the men. But when they negotiated on behalf of a friend, they asked for just as much money as the men.

Amanatullah says when women advocate for themselves, they have to navigate more than a higher salary: They're managing their reputation, too. Women worry that pushing for more money will damage their image. Research shows they're right to be concerned: Both male and female managers are less likely to want to work with women who negotiate during a job interview.

This affects women negotiating for equitable pay, but there are ways to overcome this.

 Maggie Neale of Stanford Business School says there are ways around this discomfort. For one thing, she says, women can use their ability to fight for others for their own ends. When you're negotiating a raise, she says, think of the other people your salary is supporting so the negotiation doesn't seem like it's all about you.

She also recommends that women stop thinking about negotiation as "adversarial, putting on the armor, getting ready to do battle." Instead, she says, think of it as solving a problem.

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