Women Don't Ask: Negotiation and the Gender Divide by Linda BabcockWomen Don't Ask: Negotiation and the Gender Divide by Linda Babcock

Women Don't Ask: Negotiation and the Gender Divide

byLinda Babcock

Hardcover | September 22, 2003

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When Linda Babcock asked why so many male graduate students were teaching their own courses and most female students were assigned as assistants, her dean said: "More men ask. The women just don't ask." It turns out that whether they want higher salaries or more help at home, women often find it hard to ask. Sometimes they don't know that change is possible--they don't know that they can ask. Sometimes they fear that asking may damage a relationship. And sometimes they don't ask because they've learned that society can react badly to women asserting their own needs and desires.


By looking at the barriers holding women back and the social forces constraining them, Women Don't Ask shows women how to reframe their interactions and more accurately evaluate their opportunities. It teaches them how to ask for what they want in ways that feel comfortable and possible, taking into account the impact of asking on their relationships. And it teaches all of us how to recognize the ways in which our institutions, child-rearing practices, and unspoken assumptions perpetuate inequalities--inequalities that are not only fundamentally unfair but also inefficient and economically unsound.


With women's progress toward full economic and social equality stalled, women's lives becoming increasingly complex, and the structures of businesses changing, the ability to negotiate is no longer a luxury but a necessity. Drawing on research in psychology, sociology, economics, and organizational behavior as well as dozens of interviews with men and women from all walks of life, Women Don't Ask is the first book to identify the dramatic difference between men and women in their propensity to negotiate for what they want. It tells women how to ask, and why they should.

Linda Babcock is James M. Walton Professor of Economics at Carnegie Mellon University's H. John Heinz III School of Public Policy and Management. Sara Laschever is a writer whose work has been published by the New York Times, the New York Review of Books, the Village Voice, Vogue, and other publications.
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Title:Women Don't Ask: Negotiation and the Gender DivideFormat:HardcoverDimensions:240 pagesPublished:September 22, 2003Publisher:Princeton University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:069108940X

ISBN - 13:9780691089409

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Table of Contents

PREFACE: WhyNegotiation, and Why Now? ix

INTRODUCTION: Women Don't Ask 1

CHAPTER ONE: Opportunity Doesn't Always Knock 17

CHAPTER TWO: A Price Higher than Rubies 41

CHAPTER THREE: Nice Girls Don't Ask 62

CHAPTER FOUR: Scaring the Boys 85

CHAPTER FIVE: Fear of Asking 112

CHAPTER SIX: Low Goals and Safe Targets 130

CHAPTER SEVEN: Just So Much and No More 148

CHAPTER EIGHT: The Female Advantage 164

EPILOGUE: Negotiating at Home 180

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 187

NOTES 189

REFERENCES 201

INDEX 217

Editorial Reviews

"The authors offer advice that is practical and likely to result in desired changes for women who want to be able to accomplish more in multiple spheres of their lives."-Kathleen L. McGinn, Harvard University