When Time Isn’t Money

By on / Conflict Resolution

Due to deeply ingrained gender stereotypes, women may find it easier to negotiate their time instead of their financial compensation.

Consider that men and women are likely to rely on gender-stereotypic arguments to support their demands in negotiation.

For women, the gender-stereotypic notion of being caregivers is readily available and likely to be well received. By contrast, men, who generally are expected to be the primary family breadwinner, have less difficulty negotiating financial issues than women do.

Furthermore, women perform better when negotiating on behalf of others (such as their subordinates or clients) than when negotiating for themselves, research by Hannah Riley Bowles and Kathleen McGinn of Harvard University shows.

In one study, women executives seemed “particularly energized when they felt a sense of responsibility to represent another person’s interests,” Bowles, McGinn, and Dina W. Pradel wrote in their November 2005 Negotiation article, “When Does Gender Matter in Negotiation?”

Little surprise, then, that the women in our study preferred to negotiate matters that directly affected their time with their families, such as work schedules and travel assignments.


In our FREE special report from the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School – The New Conflict Management: Effective Conflict Resolution Strategies to Avoid Litigation – renowned negotiation experts uncover unconventional approaches to conflict management that can turn adversaries into partners.


Related Article: When the Sexes Face Off

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