Monday, May 17, 2010

Harvard Toolkit for Closing the Pay Gap

Great piece in the New York Times
about Hannah Riley Bowles and her research -- showing how women close their own pay gap when they’ve got the scoop on pay scales and perceptions.

Excerpt: Even now, when women represent half the work force, they’re still paid considerably less than men — and part of that pay gap may be a result of what happens at the salary negotiation table.

That’s assuming that women make it to the table, since research shows that they are less likely to ask for raises. Even when they do, their requests may be perceived as overly demanding or less agreeable.

“We have found that if a man and a woman both attempt to negotiate for higher pay, people find a woman who does this, compared to one who does not, significantly less attractive,” said Hannah Riley Bowles, an associate professor at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, who has conducted numerous studies on gender, negotiation and leadership. “Whereas with the guy, it doesn’t seem to matter.”

So what’s a woman to do if she feels her work merits a raise?

A new study concludes that women need to take a different approach than men. Women, it suggests, should frame their requests in more nuanced ways to avoid undermining their relationship with their boss.

To see more research based suggestions on women can negotiate their way to close the pay gap - read full article in the New York Times.

By Sharon Meers

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