April 8, 2014
Listen here. Aired on NPR's Morning Edition.
I've done several stories on women and negotiation over the years. This one focuses on a particular area of research. Management professor Emily Amanatullah (left), while studying for her PhD at Columbia, found women lowballed themselves when negotiating their own pay. But when negotiating a salary for a friend, they bargained just as hard as the guys in the same experiment.
The reason for the difference in approach? When women negotiate for ourselves, we have to manage other people's expectations for our behavior while also trying to increase our pay. Most of us favor the former over the latter. We back off before we necessarily need to, concerned about how we'll come across. When negotiating for others, we're not concerned about what onlookers think of us. And research shows those onlookers don't judge us poorly when we fight for others' pay - because we're doing what women are expected to do: helping other people.