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| 1 minute read

Why Women Fall Short In Negotiations

I came across this interesting Forbes article that sheds light on why women often fall short in negotiations (It's Not Lack of Skill!). As I always wonder why most of the woman negotiate differently from man, this was an interesting read.

According to the article, there are two main explanations. First, the "tameness narrative" suggests that women may be less likely to speak up and ask for what they want in negotiations. Some believe this happens because women fear coming across as too ambitious or pushy. Second, the article mentions the backlash against assertiveness. When women do assertively negotiate, they sometimes face negative reactions because it challenges traditional gender norms.

The article highlights a study which found that gender differences in negotiation outcomes were more pronounced when women had a strong alternative. This suggests that the disparity in outcomes is due to the backlash women face when they show assertiveness.

Addressing this issue isn't easy, but it's important. Organisations can help by hiring the right people, providing diversity training, promoting inclusive values, and standardising negotiation procedures to reduce ambiguity.

We need to recognise the unique challenges women face in negotiations. It's a delicate balance for us woman. If we don't negotiate assertively, we may miss out on achieving the same outcomes as out male counterparts. But when we do assert ourselves, we risk facing criticism or backlash. 

What do you think? Have you experienced any of these dynamics in your own career?

The gender pay gap is still alive and well, and gender differences in negotiation outcomes may be one of the largest contributors.


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