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Ask for It: How Women Can Use the Power of Negotiation to Get What They Really Want
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Ask for It: How Women Can Use the Power of Negotiation to Get What They Really Want

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  1,306 ratings  ·  150 reviews
In their groundbreaking book, Women Don't Ask, Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever uncovered a startling fact: even women who negotiate brilliantly on behalf of others often falter when it comes to asking for themselves. Now they've developed the action plan that women all over the country requested - a guide to negotiation that starts before you get to the bargaining table.

Hardcover, 324 pages
Published February 26th 2008 by Bantam (first published January 1st 2008)
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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
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 ·  1,306 ratings  ·  150 reviews

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Ernestasia Siahaan
Jan 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
The head of my department gives this to all new women in the group, to encourage us to be bold in asking for what we deserve and speaking up our minds.

This book has been an eye-opener for me personally. We often accept our situation because we just assume that it's how it should be. The book shows that it is more a result of us not *knowing* that we could actually ask for a better situation.

I think the book is very well-written, and not at all the preachy kind you would expect from books in thi
Z. Yasemin
Oct 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I met with Linda Babcock in 2019 in one of her workshops at the University of Pittsburgh. Before that, I already read her first book as a graduate student. Reading the first book helped me a lot to think about what it means to negotiate within academia, which is taught or reminded us as a thing "almost never".

The timing for reading this second book was even better, because it intersected with an actual job negotiation phase of my life. As I read through the book, and as I went through the interv
Mar 16, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was chosen for my faculty reading group and since it has been the only book I've read in the last 3 months, I'm gonna go ahead and review it. It is non-fiction and basically takes the stance that women get less than men (money, status, etc) because they don't ask for it. There were some good case studies presented, for example, women generally fail to negotiate on their first job offer whereas men almost always do. And, over a lifetime, that leg up on salary can really have an impact. ...more
Mar 18, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: women who work
I would recommend that any young woman just starting out in her career buy this book and keep it on the bookshelf to refer to as she progresses in her job. It gives very concrete information about how to negotiate on the job to get what you need and want. It is clear and practical with lots of examples of negotiating tactics. Even as an older woman with an established career, I am going to use some of the tactics when I apply for a new job soon. Excellent book.
Sep 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Although the stories were very (VERY!) repetitive, I really got a lot to think about out of this book. It’s incredible to realize that so many of our disadvantages as women come from simply not asking or not knowing how to ask effectively. I’d love to read more by these authors.
Apr 14, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Nina by: Caroline Sylvan
Shelves: badass-women
I appreciate a lot of this material. All the examples made me feel strong, empowered, deserving, worthy. I would walk out of the T holding my head a little higher - damn straight I’m proud of my abilities and my performance.

However, in its enthusiasm for women refusing to settle for less than their objective value, the book gives negligible attention to two very real considerations:

(a) have you actually demonstrated sufficient competence and mastery to plausibly justify a career opportunity/pr
Lynne Spreen
Mar 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book so much I did two blog posts about it. (

Here's a horrifying fact, quoting from the book: "This bias without malice starts early. In a study, school children were asked to perform a small task and then pay themselves what they thought they deserved. (First graders were asked to award themselves Hershey’s Kisses.)In first, fourth, seventh and tenth grades, girls consistently paid themselves 30% – 78% less than boys."

How does that make you
Oct 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Thanks to this book I feel more comfortable asking for things, while also recognizing (as the book points out) that women unfortunately are still expected to be "relentlessly pleasant." Although I did not get what I asked for in a recent important negotiation, I feel proud that I at least stepped into negotiating without being afraid that I was doing the wrong thing. ...more
Dec 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars, but I'll round up. Waaaaay too many examples/stories of women's negotiating (mis)adventures. But there is helpful information about how to set up a negotiation, laid out very similarly to how a negotiations class would go (or at least it laid things out just like my MBA nego class, for better or worse). If you've taken a course, you'll find much of the instructional parts redundant, but I appreciated the overarching encouraging tone of the book. The authors want to stress that you're ...more
Aug 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Read this book, ladies. And profit.
Elizabeth Caddy
Jul 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Every woman should read this book. It’s eye-opening and has changed the way I move in relationships and negotiations. Since starting this book, I have more boldly asked for things I might not have and am now on a fast-track to a role I have had my eye on. This shit works.

I’m giving this to every woman I know for college graduation gifts.
Dec 02, 2015 rated it liked it
I don't usually read business books, but a group at work was reading this. This book was really detailed and covered a lot of ground, from figuring out what you want and seeking role models, to the mechanics of negotiation, to exercises, to commentary on specific challenges for women based on how they're perceived when negotiating.

I definitely do not like books that claim innate, fatalistic sex differences. This one had a great focus on the context women live in - studies on how women are percei
Aug 16, 2011 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Ashley by: Devina Patel
Shelves: career
This book immensely readable, but the content was awful. Both authors have an agenda - to make you believe that women have somehow been "cheated" out of what they deserved because they don't ask for it. I resent many of the authors recommendations on behavior, which suggest that a woman should act like a man in order to get ahead. Regardless of the difference in our outlooks, I would be lying if I said that it didn't change how I viewed male/female negotiations.

The tidbits that I would recommen
Lots of useful things. I am not going to do the 6 week course thing, and might not ever actually feel like I can negotiate things, but now I'll at least feel bad about it.

In all seriousness, though, even if I'll never be an aggressive asker-person, this book changed how I think about asking for things, in a good way. I'll probably revisit for situations when I might actually be needing to do such things.

One thing that bothered me is that it didn't give much help as to how to assess when a situ
Jul 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
My prescient sister in law gave this book to me at a time when I needed it (and I did get the raise!). I found this book an eye opener about how often we as women downplay our value, make excuses to avoid speaking up, and miss opportunities. I was dismayed that as an empowered, educated woman I still fell into the same traps of devaluing my work and waiting on others to speak up for me at work, and used many of the same justifications for my actions that were outlined in the book.

I wish every w
I would highly recommend this book to every young woman who is starting out in her career. In fact, it should probably be required reading for college women (men can also read it if they want :)
It's filled with practical advice that is useful at all career stages but for young women, it would set them up for career success early on. I also liked that the authors addressed the likeability factor in a pragmatic way and encouraged women to break down that stereotype as they move higher up on the c
Feb 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I found this book INCREDIBLY helpful! It made me feel confident and angry about all I had missed out on by not negotiating at the same time. A lot of people say that the stories are repetitive, and they can be, but I appreciated the number of stories/examples, because it meant I was able to find a few that were more relatable and relevant to my situations. By including so many examples, the authors allow most readers to find a few that inspire them most and are more relevant to each reader.

#1 t
Feb 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received this book as part of the course materials for a one-day Negotiation course offered by WinSETT (Women in Science, Engineering, Technology, and Trades). This book was extremely valuable in talking me through how negotiations work, common problems, and how to evaluate my own life and plan for negotiations. I've recommended it to nearly everybody I know who's looking for a new job as well as people looking for a raise. Also, while it is written for women, nearly all of the advice would al ...more
Aug 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: life
I didn't think I needed this book. I'm a pretty ballsy gal who generally speaks her mind. But reading through this made me realize that I've been going about it all wrong and there are several places in my life where I should have negotiated and where I should be negotiating. This really helped me as I'm thinking through my job search, and I now have a bunch of tools to deal with salary negotiations and similar situations in the future. Read it, ladies! ...more
Mar 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2015
Wish I'd read this a long, long time ago. The information is nothing earth shattering, but I'm giving this four stars because this, in some part or other, helped me say "I demand more money!" - which I'm sure is a phrase most people would never think I'd say. (a few times now!)

Though, to be sure, requests shouldn't be baseless. So, make sure you do your work, do it well, and do your research into your fair market value!
Minjia Qiu
May 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
The premises is critical for all women - if you don't ask you'll never get what you want, and ask for more than what you think you could get so there's a negotiation. We instinctively do this as toddlers, throw tantrums to get what we want; but somewhere before we turn adults, boys learn that taking risks by asking is reasonable, while girls wait for boys to ask them out. This book lays out the facts and stats, and provides concrete examples and practical tips on preparing to negotiate. ...more
Nov 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Essential reading for any woman looking to achieve more professionally, socially, at home - in any capacity. Thoughtful, approachable, and full of easily achievable suggestions, laced with an insightful examination on the culture that sets up women to ask for less, or not ask at all. No, really: READ THIS!
Mar 02, 2010 rated it liked it
Ooooh! We were holding steady at 4 stars, despite the overly shiny-happy attitude, and then blammo, we pulled up hard in the "likability" chapter. Which made my head spin around, just like in the exorcist. ...more
Rebecca Saxton
Jan 17, 2012 rated it liked it
I thought this was a well written book and found it to be informative in the fact to ask for certain things outside of the work place that I would have never thought of to do before. Also , I believe it was very helpful to see that men tend to negotiate more for their salary than women do.
Nov 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Read it, ladies, and stop feeling guilty.
Mar 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: business
Negotiation book with the content that can be used by both genders, but, be aware, all examples are women.

(Second half is better than first one).
Michelle Toner
Feb 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Every woman should read this book!! It will change your perspective on everything you know about how you function in the world.
Apr 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is probably not the most helpful book to read in the middle of a worldwide pandemic/ economic recession, so please take my review with that in mind. 😅

The good/ what I found helpful:
-Ask for more, because your male colleagues probably are
-Do your research before asking for more
-There is unconscious bias when giving raises/ promotions to male colleagues
-It's okay if your interests change... just make sure you don't short change yourself when asking for a starting salary in a new career

The ba
Anna Fedusiv
Oct 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I don't know how, until just recently, I used my intuition and common sense when negotiating. This book also made me realize how many opportunities I missed out by simply not asking for more/ better by simply asking.
"Ask For It" gives many tips on how to negotiate in life situations and gives tips on how to be more daring. Highly relevant and hands-on book.
This ended up being better than I thought it would be, I'd give it 3.5/5 if that was an option. Obviously it sucks that a book like this needs to exist in the first place (as the authors themselves point out), but I can see a lot of the content covered being useful to women in the world of work. The content does little to actually dismantle the patriarchal values that necessitate the existence of the book, but the authors do point out that this too can be achieved through persistent work. ...more
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Linda C. Babcock is the James Mellon Walton Professor of Economics at the H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She has also served as director of the Ph.D. Program and Interim Dean at the Heinz School.

Dr. Babcock grew up in Altadena, California, and attended public schools there before earning her bachelor's degree in e

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