Stereotypical notions of gender differences have an adverse effect on women's capacity to negotiate. This is shown in a dissertation in psychology by Una Gustafsson at Lund University in Sweden.
Conceptions of good and poor negotiators are tied to stereotypical notions of masculine and feminine characteristics: good negotiators, like men, are regarded as being decisive, strong, and self-assertive. Poor negotiators, and women, are seen as being concessive, emotional, and overly focused on relationships.
When stereotypical conceptions predict that one's group will do poorly on an assignment, psychologists call it "stereotype threat." In these situations it has been shown that group members perform less well on assignments that they are expected to do poorly on according to the stereotype. In other words, they temporarily confirm the stereotype. For example, black Americans have been shown to score lower on intelligence tests when they are told that the test is a measure of their intelligence (stereotype threat) compared with when they are not told this.
The same situation may occur when women negotiate their pay, which is what Una Gustafsson has studied in her dissertation. In one of the dissertation studies she arranged realistic salary negotiations involving 100 economics students at Lund University. Neither the "salary negotiator" nor the students knew what the test was really all about. Half of the participants were told that their negotiating ability was being tested (stereotype threat) and half that their negotiating ability could not be measured. The negotiation situations themselves were exactly the same.
Among those who did not believe that their ability could be assessed, there were no gender differences. But among those who had been told that this ability was being assessed, women demanded SEK 2,000 (USD 325) per month less than men did. They had lowered their sights. When asked to state their ideal monthly salary, it was nearly SEK 6,000 (USD 1,000) lower than what men stated. In contrast, there were no gender differences in setting goals and salary demands when the students negotiated with no awareness that their negotiating ability would be assessed.
But how can women assert themselves more in pay negotiations?
"I believe that if women are made aware of how stereotype threat functions, they will be able to make up their minds to aim well above the mean salary and thereby avoid asking for too little pay," says Una Gustafsson.
In fact, it has been shown that certain women who were given clear information about the general pattern - that women tend to negotiate less well than men -suddenly can negotiate better than men. These women probably got angry and succeeded in consciously dissociating themselves from the stereotype.
But Una Gustafsson also warns against placing the entire blame on the women's own behavior:
"Discrimination exists," she says. "Men find it easier to get what they ask for. Studies have shown that men prefer not to work together with women who make substantial demands in salary negotiations. They are regarded as unpleasant and demanding, whereas men who ask for high salaries are not characterized this way at all."
Una Gustafsson will publicly defend her thesis on May 29. It is titled Why women ask for less salary than men: Mediation of stereotype threat in salary negotiations. The defense will take place at 3:00 p.m. at Palaestra, Paradisgatan, Lund.
Una Gustafsson can be reached at cell phone: +46 (0)70-203 52 03 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Ulrika Oredsson | idw
Mathematical confirmation: Rewiring financial networks reduces systemic risk
22.06.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Frugal Innovations: when less is more
19.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO
University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event
On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...
Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.
Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....
Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).
When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...
Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.
How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...
Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.
It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...
17.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
10.10.2017 | Event News
19.10.2017 | Materials Sciences
19.10.2017 | Materials Sciences
19.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy