You are Cordially Invited to Negotiate

Women Will Negotiate Salaries

One of the themes in my blog is that women tend to negotiatiate their salary less often than men.  Recently in the National Bureau of Economic Research, Andreas Leibbrandt and John A. List published their findings regarding this issue.  Interestingly (at least to me) the results indicate that women would actively negotiate their salaries if they were invited to do so at a slightly higher rate then men.  This can be accomplished when a job advertisement includes a reference to the salary being negotiable.  Specifically the listing included “…but the applicant can negotiate a higher wage.”

I love the experiment but I am not a fan of the language used in the experiment. I  love that Leibbrandt and List do a good job showcasing that women can and will negotiate their income.  It highlights that negotiating is happening some of the time and can happen more often with some relatively small alterations to job postings.  To me the language seems a bit too inviting.   Companies plan for and expect compensation negotiations when hiring yet they do not create a proverbial billboard to advertise the fact.  They may expect it but they truly love when their first offer is accepted.  They like using the savings for other resources or the bottom line.

Invitation in Invisible Ink

The take away for women is to know that  “…but the applicant can negotiate a higher wage” is always there for every single job opening but in invisible ink. Two main concerns  I hear from women about negotiating are the fear of the job offer being revoked and starting a working relationship on a bad foot.   The invitation to negotiate seems to diminish such fears.  Realizing that the invitation like the salary itself are often not conveyed in the actual job listing is a good first step to overcoming the fear.

What other fears do you have about negotiating your salary?

Copyright 2012 by Katie Donovan