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What If Women Negotiated for More Money As Frequently As Men Do

By Lois P. Frankel, Ph.D.

You wake up in your bedroom overlooking the ocean. Your live-in housekeeper, Joseph, brings you a cup of coffee before you’ve even gotten out of bed. The first choice of the day is which outfit of a closet full of designer clothes you’re going to wear. You remember there’s a client meeting on your schedule so you opt for a conservative blue suit. Coming down the stairs toward the kitchen you hear the laughter of your children. Joseph has your breakfast ready and your two children dressed. After leisurely eating a bowl of fresh fruit and yogurt you shuffle the children into your Mercedes wagon for the trip to school.

After dropping off the kids at their private school, you head to your office and pull into the executive parking garage directly beneath the building. Exiting the elevator on the 51st floor of your office tower you head directly for your corner office. There are two assistants who sit outside your door. Peter handles all of your business affairs and Henry handles your personal affairs. Both men are college educated and treat you with the respect you’ve earned as a leader and top negotiator for not only your firm’s clients, but for yourself as well. Before you’ve even settled into your chair Peter comes in with your calendar for the day: morning meeting with new client; lunch with the Managing Partner of the firm; an afternoon of conducting performance reviews for your staff; and attend a fundraiser for a nonprofit organization to which you’ve made sizeable donations in the past. Henry gives you a message from your financial planner. She wants to speak with you about your portfolio.

Does this sound like your typical morning? If you’re like most women, the answer is no. But it could be… if you negotiated for more money as frequently as men do. Money is power. Men know this. Women try to ignore it. We focus more on “doing good” than “doing well” – but they aren’t mutually exclusive. Money in the form of income, perks, and benefits, isn’t the be all and end all, but it does allow you to:

  • Hire the help you need to live a well-balanced life
  • Dress for success
  • Give time and money to causes that make a difference for you
  • Be taken seriously
  • Take good care of your children
  • Spend quality time with your family
  • Have access to people who can help you achieve your goals

Acquiring wealth through the process of good negotiation skills isn’t all that would change. Asking for more money necessitates asking for more meaningful assignments, exposure, and an increased scope in job responsibilities. If women reach parity with men, the world and workplace would be fundamentally different:

  • There wouldn’t be enough women to do the stereotypically “female” jobs many women now do. This means men would assume more of these functions, thereby creating a workforce where men and women are equally represented at all levels.
  • The decision-making process would be a more thoughtful one, where individual and collective needs are taken in to consideration.
  • Women would have the confidence to negotiate with confidence in other ways – such as for the needs of their staff members, support for community causes, for company services and products, or for attracting talent.
  • Women would have a greater knowledge about finance and how to create a rich life – and that means living your life the way you want free from concerns about money.

Dr. Lois Frankel is author of the international bestseller Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office and the recently released See Jane Lead .