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Surprising Facts about Women and Negotiating


In the show "Let's Make a Deal," Dr. Phil mentions how averse to negotiating women are. Here are some surprising facts about women and negotiation, from Women Don't Ask: Negotiation and the Gender Divide by Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever.


It's Now More Necessary for Women to Negotiate Than Ever Before

  • Between May 2001 and May 2002, 39 percent of the American workforce changed jobs.
  • In 2000, 76.8 percent of women aged 25 to 54 worked outside the home.
  • The divorce rate hovers at 50 percent.
  • Union membership is down 33 percent since 1983.
  • Women's earnings relative to men's has stagnated at 73.2 percent.

Women Don't Like to Negotiate

  • 2.5 times more women than men said they feel "a great deal of apprehension" about negotiation.
  • Men initiate negotiations about four times more often than women.
  • When asked to pick metaphors for negotiations, men picked "winning a ballgame" and a "wrestling match," while women picked "going to the dentist."
  • Women will pay as much as $1,353 to avoid negotiating the price of a car.
  • Women are more pessimistic about the rewards available, so they come away with less when they do negotiate " on average, 30 percent less than men.
  • 20 percent of women (22 million people) say they never negotiate at all, even though they recognize negotiation as appropriate and even necessary.
  • In the late 1990s, Jean Hollands started the "Bully Broads" program, charging $18,000 to "modify" or "reform" tough women by teaching them how to be "nicer."

Women Suffer When They Don't Negotiate

  • By not negotiating a first salary, an individual stands to lose more than $500,000 by age 60. Men are more than four times more likely than women to negotiate a first salary.
  • Starting salaries for men graduating from Carnegie Mellon were 7.6 percent higher than for women " a difference of almost $4,000. Through negotiation, the men were able to improve their starting salaries by 7.4 percent, or about $4,000.
  • In 2001 in the U.S., only 10.9 percent of the board of directors' seats at Fortune 1000 companies were held by women.
  • Women own about 40 percent of all businesses in the U. S. but receive only 2.3 percent of the available equity capital needed for growth.

Women Have Lower Expectations and Lack Knowledge of Their Worth

  • Many people, but especially women, are so happy with a job offer that they fail to negotiate their salary.
  • Women don't know their market value: women reported salary expectations between 3 and 32 percent lower than those of men for the same job. Men expect to earn 13 percent more during their first year of full-time work and 32 percent more at their career peak.

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