The Million-Dollar Mistake: Women Fall Short When Negotiating Salaries
Women earn roughly 83 cents for every dollar men earn, and gender differences in negotiating a starting salary may be one of the largest contributors.
In order to level the playing field, women have been encouraged to be more assertive. Workshops and summits have popped up all over the country to teach women the art of negotiation.
But research shows the gender gap in negotiations has nothing to do with skill and more to do with the backlash women fear they may receive by going against the deeply ingrained societal norms of being passive, helpful and accommodating.
“Relative to men who ask for more, women are penalized financially, are considered less hirable and less likable, and are less likely to be promoted,” a 2020 report by Harvard Law School states. “Men, by contrast, generally can negotiate for higher pay without fearing a backlash because such behavior is consistent with the stereotype of men as assertive, bold and self-interested.”
By not negotiating a starting salary, an individual stands to lose more than $500,000 by age 60, reports suggest. Men are more than four times as likely as women to negotiate their first salary.