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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Women don't ask

That's right. We don't. Not enough it seems.
I came across this video clip : http://techtv.mit.edu/videos/140-span-classhighlightwomenspan-dont-ask from a friend's email.

Basically the point is that women don't know how to ask for things for themselves at work. For example, a women goes to a job interview, and she gets selected, she would just say 'Hey great! I got a job..Thanks' and accepts the salary thats given to her. In contrast, a guy would say 'OK that's a good offer - but I was looking for more like <$$$>'. And most of the time, the guy would get the job with a raise.

And you know what? Its true. I got accepted to the first job interview I ever went to and did I negotiate? No. Did I go to another interview to see if I could get a better offer? No. Now, I'm not complaining about my job because it's quite a nice place to work - but my point is that I was just happy to assume that I would be getting what I deserved. And it's not just me. Among my friends, none of the girls negotiated their first offer - ever. The guys on the other hand had the confidence and assurance to ask-for-more.
Why is that women feel so bad about asking for more? Perhaps it is ingrained with our social upbringing? Are we afraid to be labeled as pushy? as bitchy? - I don't know.

It's not just money - tons of other things - exciting projects, foreign trips, workshops, new responsibilities, etc.

Even now, when ever a performance review comes up, my friends (girls) would say 'Should I ask for more this time? Its not very nice to ask no? I don't feel comfortable asking' - whereas my guy friends would go 'I need at least $$$ this time. I have done this and this and this - do you remember I was the one who did that - I totally deserve a raise'.

And did you know that when you do not negotiate, your employer might be thinking you're not qualified. They may think - hmm there's something bad in this girl that we don't see in her resume - because of course we tend to think that the more expensive something is - the better it is.

So girls, please do check out that video. And please do stand up and ask. Who knows you might even get it :)