February 22, 2004

Ask and You shall receive?

I found this the other day while working at one of my clients


A few years ago, when Linda was serving as the director of the Ph.D. program at her school, a delegation of women graduate students came to her office. Many of the male graduate students were teaching courses of their own, the women explained, while most of the female graduate students had been assigned to work as teaching assistants to regular faculty. Linda agreed that this didn't sound fair, and that afternoon she asked the associate dean who handled teaching assignments about the women's complaint. She received a simple answer: "I try to find teaching opportunities for any student who approaches me with a good idea for a course, the ability to teach, and a reasonable offer about what it will cost," he explained. "More men ask. The women just don't ask."

This is the opening paragraph from the introduction to the book: Women Don't Ask: Negotiation and the Gender Divide the full introduction can be found Here .

The point that author is making is that much of the disparity in salaries between men and women can be traced to the fact that men are more prone to negotiate than women.

The impact of neglecting to negotiate when starting a new job is so substantial and difficult to overcome that some researchers who study the persistence of the wage gap between men and women speculate that much of the disparity can be traced to differences in entering salaries rather than differences in raises.

If nothing else read the intro to the book on the site above.

I think that this raises an excellent point that that can benefit women and men as well. Too often I have seen people settle for what is offered for various reasons. There is nothing to be lost by asking for more. In most case the worst that can happen is that you are told "no". In my experience I have found that the answer is usually "yes" though. My boss is always amazed at the things I have been able to acquire for our "lab" at work simply by asking. It's not always about money; I work in technology so there is what I call the "toy" factor for us. It could be anything that you think will make your working life better.

So think about your own experiences, have you ever thought about asking for more, or do you settle for what is given to you and why? .

Posted by Pete at February 22, 2004 10:28 AM