Are Women Less Likely to Negotiate a Job Offer?

Paul Levy; Author/Blogger; Former President and CEO, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

 Have trouble viewing this video? Read the transcript.

Learning Objectives: At the end of this activity, you will be able to:
  • Discuss two reasons why women may do worse in salary negotiations than men.
  • Identify a potential strategy that can lead to more productive job negotiations.
Description: “My wife and I have read a lot of research,” says Author Paul Levy, former President and CEO of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, “that is very conclusive that women appear to do worse in salary negotiations than men.” According to Levy, “This is not genetic; this is socialization,” and there are a couple of key reasons why society can make salary negotiations difficult for women. In this IHI Open School short, Levy shares lessons from How to Negotiate Your First Job — a book he co-authored with his wife, Farzana S. Mohamed — on how both genders can improve their bargaining power.
Discussion Questions:
  1. Paul says research has shown women tend to ask for less than men do in a job negotiation. Why do you think this might be the case?
  2. According to Paul, research shows that when a woman advocates for herself in a job negotiation, it is more poorly perceived by the other party than when a man advocates for himself. Do you think this is accurate?
  3. Let’s test one of Paul Levy’s ideas from the video: If you’re a male, do you enter a job negotiation thinking, “What’s the most I can get?” If you’re a female, do you enter a job negotiation thinking, “What’s a fair amount?” Why or why not? 
  4. Why can a personal conversation in the middle of a job offer negotiation change the dynamic of the meeting?
  5. Have you ever used the strategy Paul Levy suggested (i.e., developing a relationship with the hiring manager) to help negotiate a job offer? What was the result? 
  6. Paul says, “You can’t change society.” How true is this statement? What steps can you take to improve gender equality in the workplace?
Average Content Rating
(1 user)
Please login to rate or comment on this content.
User Comments