On average, women earn less than men for the same work. At the same time, research shows that women initiate negotiation talks less than men and have a less active approach in discussing salary. Further, women experience more discomfort around negotiating a raise than men do.
Most of the women I work with offer similar reasons as to why they do not initiate such conversations: they do not want to upset anyone, they are afraid of rejection, and they normally don’t ask/ like to discuss money. While it isn’t uncommon that people generally avoid what they expect to be uncomfortable conversations, it is severely costly to women’s salaries and professional trajectories on the whole.
In business women are faced with a double bind. If they ask for things that they want, they are labelled pushy and aggressive. If they do not, it is assumed that they don’t understand the politics. Here are some guidelines on how to navigate the dreaded salary negotiation.