Some persistent myths about negotiation are holding women back in the workplace.

Some persistent myths about negotiation are holding women back in the workplace.

Some persistent myths about negotiation are holding women back in the workplace.

ISRDO Team 28 Nov, 2022 - in Gender Studies
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  • women
  • negotiate
  • work
  • wages
  • employers

Training them, counselling their employers, and researching their triumphs and failures, we work with professional women on a regular basis to help them negotiate their careers. Kathryn is a negotiation trainer and coach, whereas I, Hannah, am a scholar and teacher. There are three negotiating misconceptions that keep coming up, and we're afraid they're limiting women's ability to take chances and break down barriers in the workplace. Leaders can make employee discussions more fair by putting an end to seven illusions about negotiation as firms reimagine the future of work.

The first common misconception is that women aren't as skilled at negotiating as males.

In reality, it may be challenging for both men and women to negotiate for resources that go against social expectations, especially when they do so. In keeping with antiquated gender norms, males are seen as breadwinners and women as carers. Therefore, women have a harder time than men do bargaining for better compensation, and men have a harder time than women do gaining access to family-friendly work practises. Equally difficult is the task of negotiating salary for males from historically underrepresented communities.

Men and women report negotiating their positions in the workplace at roughly the same rates, according to research that focus on the negotiations managers and professionals engage in. Men were more likely to report negotiating salary or hours worked, while women were more likely to report doing so in the context of their work and family lives in the provided case studies. (Scholars of negotiations may have come to the wrong conclusion about the gender gap in bargaining power if they hadn't first investigated how people gain access to family-friendly work practises.)

Equal pay for equal labour means men should have the same opportunities to adopt family-friendly policies in the workplace as women do, and visa versa.

Contrary to popular belief, women shouldn't always try to negotiate their pay.

The second fallacy holds that women may reduce the salary difference between the sexes by simply asking for a raise. Based on everything I've read about the gender wage gap, I feel like I'm letting women down if I don't advocate for a raise for myself," stated one client Kathryn helped. Because the gender wage gap is driven more by differences in the sorts of occupations men and women hold than by pay differentials for the same labour, this is an unjust burden to lay on women.

The pay gap between men and women is measured by looking at how much money men and women make in the same job. Employment in traditionally male-dominated fields is typically more lucrative and time-consuming than employment in traditionally female-dominated fields. There are certainly cases when women receive lower wages, and these should be rectified. Negotiating not just for higher pay in present positions, but also for women's development in those positions, is likely to have a stronger influence on the gender wage gap.

Women's promotion into higher-paying occupations and lowering the expenditures employees incur while looking for family-friendly work arrangements are two of the most important factors in reducing the wage gap between men and women. In other words, instead of forcing women to just concentrate on wage negotiations, we should shift our attention to supporting women's role negotiations and to problem-solving around work and family for all employees.

Backlash Is Always An Option

Fearing social consequences like alienation from coworkers or even being disinvited from work teams, many professional women approach job talks with apprehension. Education and the establishment of norms can help organisations combat this. Managers can be educated about their own possible prejudices, such as the expectation that males, rather than women, will advocate for themselves in the workplace, and they can be actively encouraged to oppose the assumption that individuals will or should act in gender-stereotypical ways (e.g., that women should be modest about their ambitions or that men should be more concerned about work than family). Companies should teach their workers and their bosses to negotiate not just salary but also other aspects of their working conditions, such as their responsibilities (such as promotion or developmental chances), workload (such as assignments, timetables, etc.), and so on.

A Means through Which Women May Present Their Case Until Formal Representation Is Established

Although businesses should work to improve the fairness of their bargaining procedures, women may take steps to improve their own position in the workplace.

There are two things you can do to increase your influence and strengthen your relationships during negotiations. Justify the need and reasonableness of your request first. In a second portion, explain how your idea benefits both sides. Instead of saying "I deserve a promotion," Kathryn recommends explaining how your performance meets the criteria (e.g., "I'm on track to exceed my sales target by 10%, which will help the department hit our end-of-year goal") and advances the company's goals (e.g., "The credibility that comes with a VP title will help me land and convert more accounts").

One of Kathryn's customers, Jackie, mentioned this after successfully negotiating a new employment offer. I loved working for the firm, but the salary was too low, and the position itself was beyond my skillset. I had a meeting with them and made it clear that I could be more helpful to the firm if I were promoted to a position where I could contribute to our expansion plans. After our talk, my original offer was revised to include a higher position, a 40 percent pay raise, and a more defined path to promotion.

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