What Comes After “Women Don’t Negotiate”?

What Comes After “Women Don’t Negotiate”?:


Here are some headlines just from the last year: “‘They Don’t Negotiate’: Why Young Women College Graduates Are Still Paid Less Than Men,” “Why Women Don’t Negotiate,” “Ask for a Rase? Most Women Hesitate,” “Women Don’t Negotiate for Themselves.” And on and on. We get it. Now who’s going to help us learn to negotiate?

Women are often told that if their salaries are lower than they should be — lower than a man’s, that is — that they need to negotiate more effectively. That was the premise of the groundbreaking 2003 book “Women Don’t Ask,” which argued that the gender wage gap could be explained by women’s failure to advocate for themselves in the workplace, particularly during salary negotiations, and it has become a staple of career advice since then.

Despite some research showing that women are actually punished for negotiating too aggressively, it’s clear that for many of us, it doesn’t come easily. That’s why I’m so psyched about Slate’s new podcast series “Negotiation Academy.” (Full disclosure: I contribute to Slate occasionally.) Two journalists, Jill Barshay and Seth Stevenson, were sent off to study “the art and science of deal-making” at Columbia Business School, and they’re bringing what they learned to a series of short, genuinely useful podcasts.

The first episode, posted yesterday, is about whether you or your negotiation “opponent” should name a number first. New episodes will be posted weekly. Ladies, many of us have fully absorbed the message that we fail to negotiate. Let’s move on to the domination phase.

Photo: Denis Opolja / Shutterstock.com

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