Why Negotiation is Only Part of the Solution

Did you know that women are more likely to face negative social consequences for negotiating?  This seems to go against the pervasive notion that women effectively negotiating for high salaries will be a magic bullet for closing the wage gap.  According to Hannah Riley Bowles, Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and Linda Babcock, Carnegie Mellon University, in their article How Can Women Escape the Compensation Negotiation Dilemma? Relational Accounts Are One Answer, “…women entering compensation negotiations face a dilemma: They have to weigh the benefits of negotiating against the social consequences of having negotiated.”

So, asking doesn’t necessarily work and not asking doesn’t work.  Great!  To solve this problem, clearly we need to look elsewhere, because it goes beyond effective negotiation skills.  A good place would be the heart of it.  From day one, why don’t employers pay women the same wage as their male counterparts?

To learn more about the Equal Pay, the gender wage gap, and the institutional and structural issues that need to be addressed, please visit the National Women’s Law Center at http://bit.ly/YM5TBt.


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