A study showed that women ask for more money, but are rejected more often


Tingting Zhu, a human resources consultant based in New York City, admits that she didn’t negotiate salary when she was offered her first job.

“It all happened so quickly, I found myself at a loss for words at that moment, and in the end I accepted the offer as it was presented,” the 33-year-old told Yahoo Finance.

She said her reservation cost her about $5,000 in annual salary, limiting the amount she could set aside in a retirement plan and setting a floor for future annual increases. Chu never made that mistake again.

“Although not every negotiation resulted in a higher offer, I was constantly pushing myself outside of my comfort zone to engage in the salary negotiation process. Even though I had negotiated multiple times, I still felt nervous every time, which is “What I see as an opportunity to practice and improve.”

Contrary to popular belief, working women like Chu negotiate their salaries, and they do so more often than men, according to a recent study. analysis Published by the Academy of Management. But they are often rejected, too.

Tingting Chu’s reticence to negotiate the salary for her first job cost her about $5,000 in annual salary, but she didn’t make that mistake again. (Photo courtesy of Tingting Zhou) (Tingting Zhou)

The study overturns prevailing beliefs that women are paid less than men because they indirectly choose to do so by being less competitive and assertive. Understanding what actually happens when it comes to wage disparity is important for closing this gap, the study’s researchers say.

“Although in the past men were more likely to negotiate than women, the gender difference has since reversed,” Laura Kray, a professor at the University of California Berkeley Haas and one of the researchers, told Yahoo Finance. “Continuing to blame women for not negotiating the gender pay gap does double damage, perpetuating gender stereotypes and weakening efforts to combat it.”

Cray was joined by Vanderbilt Assistant Professor Jessica Kennedy and UC Berkeley postdoctoral student Margaret Lees in the study.

“The root causes of the gender pay gap”

When Cray and her colleagues analyzed a survey of students graduating from a top MBA program between 2015 and 2019, they found that significantly more women reported negotiating their job offers than men — 54% versus 44%.

The researchers then analyzed a 2019 alumni survey of 1,900 MBA graduates. The survey asked MBA students about their salaries, and included a pronged question about whether they had ever asked for raises or promotions; Whether those negotiations were successful; And whether they received a raise or promotion without asking for it.

The analysis confirmed that people who ask for a higher wage are actually more likely to receive a higher wage than those who do not.

Shot of a young businesswoman having a discussion with a colleague in an office

But overall, they found that women earned 22% less than men. Other than lower wages for women, the only differences that emerged based on gender were that more women said they had tried to negotiate, and more women reported being rejected.

“We need to look beyond bargaining to understand the root causes of the gender pay gap,” Cray said. “This does not mean that women do not negotiate job offers, although they are told ‘no’ more often than men.”

Women earn 88% of what men earn after earning an MBA, but only 63% of what men earn after 10 years, according to the newspaper. This wage gap among MBA graduates is “particularly notable given the nearly identical skills and qualifications held by men and women at the time of degree conferral,” the researchers wrote.

However, as the expression goes, she persisted. “Holding on to the belief that the pay gap is due to women not negotiating also bleeds over into other ‘system-justifying’ beliefs, such as women choosing lower-paying jobs and working fewer hours,” Cray said.

While pay negotiation is non-negotiable for women, for some women it can be even more counterproductive than simply turning down a higher wage.

“I know a woman who didn’t get the job because of her attitude of asking for more,” said Beverly Jones, CEO Career coach The author of the book “Find Your Happiness at Work” told Yahoo Finance. “The employer was my client, and he resented the aggressive way in which she tried to get a bigger salary and more benefits, so much so that he concluded that she was not enthusiastic about the opportunity and withdrew his offer.”

However, if you don’t ask, you don’t get, says Nancy Ankewitz, of New York City Career advancement coachYahoo Finance said. “I have coached many women who have exceeded their expectations in salary negotiations – just by trying.”

It takes some legwork. “They prepare and practice responding to objections, so when they are dismissed, talked down to or belittled, they assert themselves,” she said. “They role-play and become attuned to verbal and non-verbal cues, often reading between the lines to negotiate.”

She added that they also prepare well by clarifying what they want and when they will be ready to withdraw from the salary offer. “That way, they don’t get lost in the middle of negotiations and potentially sell themselves short.”

Male and female colleagues looking at tablet computer.  Business people working in the office.  They are sitting in a textile factory.

Women earn 88% of what men earn after earning an MBA, but only 63% of what men earn after 10 years, according to the newspaper. (Image: Getty Creative) (Morsa Images via Getty Images)

In the same vein, she added, some women are not taken seriously during salary negotiations because of “societal biases that link their superior voices to inferior authority.” “The same goes for body language—like not making eye contact or acting cool, which can come off as weak in negotiations. I’m not suggesting men spreading or manipulating women, but I do recommend that women play a role in salary negotiation—turn on Video just to see how it turns out.”

This brings us back to Cray and her theory of women and negotiation. “If people think that men get better pay outcomes simply because they negotiate and women don’t, then they think we just need to train women to negotiate better instead of fixing a discriminatory system,” Cray said. “We call this ‘legitimizing the myth.’”

You’ve got a point. Flirting with women through negotiation courses is hot. Just Google “Negotiation Strategies for Women” and millions of links to books, articles, workshops and classes offered by elite universities including Harvard, Stanford, Columbia, Cornell and national associations such as the American Association of University Women.

“The ‘women don’t ask’ belief is consistent with a whole host of explanations that essentially blame women for being less compensated than men,” Cray said. “I hope the research will shift the focus away from solutions designed to ‘fix women’ and focus instead on structural barriers.”

Kerry Hannon is a senior reporter and columnist for Yahoo Finance. She is a workplace futurist, career and retirement strategist, and the author of 14 books, including “In Control at 50+: How to Succeed in the New World of Work and “You’ve never been rich.” Follow her on Twitter @kerihannon.

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