In a wonderful book called, WOMAN DON’T ASK, the authors cite three studies which support the premise of their title. In one study, the experimenters looked at the starting salaries of students graduating from Carnegie Mellon University with master’s degrees. The starting salaries of the men were 7.6 percent higher (nearly $4000) than those of the women. They then looked at who had accepted the initial offer and who had negotiated. Only 7 percent of the female students had negotiated while 57 percent of the male students had asked for more money. “The most striking finding, however, was that the students who had negotiated were able to increase their starting salaries by 7.4 percent, or $4,053, almost exactly the difference between men’s and women’s average starting pay.”

In another study, students were recruited to play a game called Boggle. They were told they would be paid between $3.00 and $10.00. After four games, the experimenters handed each student $3.00 and asked, “Is three dollars okay?” “The results were striking — almost nine times as many male as female subjects asked for more money.”

Subsequent studies verify these results. Women don’t negotiate as effectively for themselves as men do. I talked to a female director of a significant institution today and she said, “We do a better job and we just expect to be recognized for that and to be paid accordingly.” Is this too passive?

Dare to ask!

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