Research Corner: Girls as Negotiators

Research Corner: Girls as Negotiators
By Bridgette Ouimette, Strategic Initiatives & Research Director

Currently, women working full-time in the U.S. are paid 82% of what men earn; this gap widens even more significantly for women of color (AAUW, 2020). Seeds of this gender wage gap may be sown as early as elementary school. In a recent study on negotiation, findings show that 9-year-old girls ask for less than boys in general and are inclined to ask for less when negotiating with a man. These results imply that by third grade girls have received the messages, whether implicitly or explicitly, that they deserve less, negotiation for girls is not acceptable, or that a man’s resources are more valuable than a woman’s.

How can we help girls to advocate for what they deserve?

  • Encourage them to identify what they want before entering into a negotiation 
  • Pay attention to our responses to requests from both boys and girls to uncover our own implicit biases
  • Emphasize negotiation training into our curricula, demonstrating that everyone should feel empowered to advocate for themselves.