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When Linda Babcock asked why so many male graduate students were teaching their own courses and most female students were assigned as assistants, her dean said: "More men ask. The women just don't ask." It turns out that whether they want higher salaries or more help at home, women often find it hard to ask. Sometimes they don't know that change is possible--they don't know that they can ask. Sometimes they fear that asking may damage a relationship. And sometimes they don't ask because they've learned that society can react badly to women asserting their own needs and desires.
By looking at the barriers holding women back and the social forces constraining them, Women Don't Ask shows women how to reframe their interactions and more accurately evaluate their opportunities. It teaches them how to ask for what they want in ways that feel comfortable and possible, taking into account the impact of asking on their relationships. And it teaches all of us how to recognize the ways in which our institutions, child-rearing practices, and unspoken assumptions perpetuate inequalities--inequalities that are not only fundamentally unfair but also inefficient and economically unsound.
With women's progress toward full economic and social equality stalled, women's lives becoming increasingly complex, and the structures of businesses changing, the ability to negotiate is no longer a luxury but a necessity. Drawing on research in psychology, sociology, economics, and organizational behavior as well as dozens of interviews with men and women from all walks of life, Women Don't Ask is the first book to identify the dramatic difference between men and women in their propensity to negotiate for what they want. It tells women how to ask, and why they should.
240 pages, Kindle Edition
First published January 1, 2003
"The most striking finding...was that the students who had negotiated (most of them men) were able to increase their starting salaries by 7.4 percent on average, or $4,053--almost exactly the difference between the men's and women's average starting pay. This suggests that the salary differences between men and women might have been eliminated if the woman had negotiated their offers."This book is a must-read for everyone. Even though this was published eleven years ago, the research still stands and is relevant to both men and women.
"...our society still perpetuates rigid gender-based standards for behavior - standards that require women behave modestly and unselfishly and avoid promoting their own self interest. New generations of children are taught to abide by and internalize these standards...women who do rebel against these standards by pushing more overtly on their own behalf often risk being punished. Sometimes they're called 'bitchy'.."Since reading this book I have become hyper aware of how the double standard that I have against people in power -- the same type of behavior by a woman in power rubs me the wrong way. I have also noticed that I approach work, conflict, and even in "selling myself" and my skills differently than my male counterparts. Even things as simple as discussing my experience in relation to job requirements is drastically different than my male colleagues, and this book opened my eyes to the behaviors that I can learn from them to be a stronger advocate for myself and other women in the workplace.