Promising Practices Promising PracticesPromising Practices
A forum for government's best ideas and most innovative leaders.

'Don't Ask, Don't Get': How to Fix the Gender Gap in Salary Negotiations

ARCHIVES
Image via Andrea Danti/Shutterstock.com

A decade ago, my grandfather waxed rhapsodic about my first job out of college at a big publishing house in Manhattan, excited by every detail. That is, he was excited, until we got to my paycheck, which bore a paltry number that was irreconcilable with the cost of living in New York.

"Baby, do you know how to ask for the money?" It was simple, direct question, but my answers were not. I spoke of industry standards and perceived meritocracies, all of which he rejected, one after another. Born and raised poor in Detroit, he was a high school drop-out who owned three car dealerships by the time he was my age.

I shrugged his question off as the assumption of a gifted businessman from a different era, but as 2012's year-end reviews wrap up, I am reminded that my grandfather was right, and I was wrong.

Many women don't know how to ask for the money. So many, in fact, that Carnegie Mellon runs aNegotiation Academy for Women co-founded by Linda C. Babcock, a professor of economics. Babcock has also co-authored two books on the subject, Women Don't Ask and Ask For It. In her first book, she offers some troubling statistics:

  • Men initiate negotiations about four times as often as women.
  • When asked to choose a metaphor to describe the negotiation process, women picked "going to the dentist." For comparison, Men chose "winning a ballgame."
  • Women enter negotiations with pessimistic expectations about what wage increases are available, and thus if they do negotiate, they don't ask for much: 30 percent less than men.
  • 20 percent of adult women say they never negotiate at all, even when it may be appropriate.

"If you don't ask, you don't get," said Holly Schroth, who holds a doctorate in social psychology and is a senior lecturer at Berkeley's Haas School of Business.

Read more at The Atlantic.

Image via Andrea Danti/Shutterstock.com

FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.