A recent NPR news story described a study that revealed that women who negotiate for better salaries and benefits are viewed more negatively than men who do the same. So, not only are women genderally under-compensated when compared to men, but if the ladies attempt to do the smart professional thing and negotiate their packages, they risk not only making a "bad impression" but also stunting their careers. Of course, no one seems to have a problem with dudes agressively pursuing better compensation for their work. ?!?!
As someone who frequently encourages her fellow females to NEGOTIATE, I was a bit flumoxed by this sad fact. Women lose $750,000 over the course of their lifetime because they do not negotiate their package for their first job when compared to the earnings of a man in the same position who does negotiate. But it seems like social stigma - or at least expectations - mean that women who negotiate are still in a tight spot.
And I really don't think the answer is for women to create a new, kinder, gentler form of pay negotiation. It's not about working the system here - this system is not working for women - and many other folks who face discrimination in the workplace - and we should get rid of it.
My solution: How about we ditch the sexism et al. and compensate individuals - regardless of gender and various other identity categories - justly for their hard work?
Please note that as my M.A. thesis project is complete, the George Washington University is no longer overseeing research conducted in conjuction with this blog (effective June 2007 to present). The Informed Consent Materials created while this blog was under GWU's IRB oversight are still available for your information and the principles outlined in them are still being used as a general guide for my continued work.