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 email@example.com
Ulrika Oredsson | idw
Frugal Innovations: when less is more
19.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Arbeitswirtschaft und Organisation IAO
Europe's microtechnology industry is attuned to growth
10.03.2017 | IVAM Fachverband für Mikrotechnik
Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....
An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...
Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...
In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.
In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...
24.05.2017 | Event News
23.05.2017 | Event News
22.05.2017 | Event News
24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
24.05.2017 | Event News