Career Growth, Empower Yourself

Women Don’t Negotiate and it’s Killing Us


Sadly 85% of women sign the 1st contract they’re offered. They just don’t negotiate. And when they do negotiate, they ask for 30% less than their male counterparts!  Is this the 1950s? Am I living in a Leave it to Beaver world where women still don’t know their own value? What is going on here?

I’ve been researching this stuff for years, talking about it to all of my friends, giving workshops on it. I live and breathe this stuff, so when a colleague of mine (highly intelligent, skilled and talented woman) just accepted the 1st offer without even thinking about negotiating, I was crushed. She’s now a part of that 85% statistic.

If we want to be leaders we must project confidence, we must believe in our own worth and be willing to be in uncomfortable situations like a negotiation.

We must be more persistent than we are talented. We must be more fearless than we are confident.

Accepting the 1st offer presented to you comes from a place of fear. It’s the engrained belief that you’re not worthy enough, and you should just be grateful, thankful or appreciative that they even want you. So, how dare you speak out of line and ask for more!

Not negotiating your contract comes from a place of wanting success, but not too much success so as not to offend anyone’s sensibilities. You don’t want to seem greedy, right?

When you accept the 1st offer what you’re really doing is settling. You’ve taken the scraps left over from the successful ones and you’ve said to everyone “I’m not deserving of more. I’m not worthy. I don’t even believe in myself.”  And worst of all, you project no confidence. And now no one else believes in you either.

You’re saying please, please just hire me, I’ll do anything, I’ll be anyone.

Don’t you see? You’re groveling. It’s humiliating. It’s pathetic and it needs to stop.

You think I’m being harsh?

Harsh is losing out on hundreds of thousands of dollars for your pension because you didn’t ASK FOR WHAT YOU WANTED. What you deserved.

Harsh is making 30% less than your male counterparts for doing the same job.

Harsh is being looked over for promotions while less experienced and competent men get the job, because they’re willing to take a risk and ASK FOR MORE.

Stop being afraid. Stop being a people-pleaser.

Start negotiating for your life.


Image: Marie Claire Magazine June 12, 2014.

Babcock, Linda and Sara Laschever. (2007). Women Don’t Ask: the high cost of avoiding negotiation.