When I negotiated the base salary for my current job the recruiter actually said to me, “If money is that important to you, perhaps this isn’t the right company for you.”
My response was something along the lines of, “I’ve done my research, I am aware of what I am worth.” What I wanted to say was more like, “Oh, so you give back a portion of your salary just for the pleasure of working there?”
In the end, my negotiations netted me the salary and title of Scientist, even though the position they had been hoping to fill was one of post-doc. However, they didn’t actually agree to pay me what I was worth. Lucky for them the other two companies I had interviewed with weren’t ready to make an offer. A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush and such. I took the job even though the salary was less.
Sharing war stories with female colleagues and we all got bullish!t responses to our attempts to negotiate, some more successful than others.
Recently I read this piece from The New Yorker Lean Out: The Dangers for Women Who Negotiate by Maria Konnikova.
It was depressing, to say the least. You should read it, but the crux of the article: women are penalized for negotiating.
I feel some of that still in my current job. The reporting structure above me is all male. I get comments like, “Don’t be emotional.”* It’s like pulling teeth to get concrete responses regarding performance and promotion. While I’m reluctant to blame sexism, the three male colleagues hired within months of me were promoted in January. Myself and one other male colleague were not.
It is disheartening. However, it’s not in my nature to be cowed. I speak up, I speak out, I ask for answers, I ask for feedback, etc. And according to the data, I can expect to suffer as a result.
Ironically, after reading the Lean Out piece, I then finally got around to reading/watching this item that kept appearing in my FB feed:
All I could think were two things:
1. Just don’t negotiate like a girl.
2. I really hope my daughter doesn’t have to put up with this shit.
*This comment is particularly ironic since we all had to do the Myers-Briggs shenanigans and I’m an INTJ (the T being for Thinking, not Feeling) while my supervisor is the “Feeler”.