Gender Negotiation

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Gender stereotypes often enter the negotiation process. Women and men are perceived to, and often do, act differently in negotiations. Furthermore, gender-based discrimination is often a source of conflict, with women challenging the all too common status quo of less pay, unequal treatment and sexual harassment. Understanding how men and women engage differently is critical to the adoption of successful negotiation strategies and process designs. Finding a way to fairly and effectively negotiate gender discrimination issues is a powerful way to confront them.

A variety of materials explicitly involving gender and negotiation are available through the Teaching Negotiation Resource Center (TNRC). In the Casino role-play, the vice president of a software company is meeting with one of his programming managers to discuss the fate of the product her team has been developing, as it has received poor internal reviews. The manager has more on her mind than the product, as she feels she is being unfairly treated by and paid less than her male colleagues. In the Women Negotiate video, three professional women negotiators explore the issue of gender in negotiations, including overcoming stereotypes. Her Place at the Table: A Woman’s Guide to Negotiating Five Key Challenges to Leadership Success is a practical guidebook for women in demanding roles.

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Role Simulations

Role Simulation
Labor Relations Negotiation Role-Play:

Axis Affair

Anita Ramasastry and Erin Monaghan
Two-party negotiation between attorneys for a male executive and a recently terminated female employee regarding allegations of sexual harassment and gender discrimination
Role Simulation
Law / Courts Negotiation Role-Play:

Baker & Irwin v. Department of Human Services

Bruce Deming
Two-party negotiation between attorneys for a state agency and a gay advocacy group regarding a state policy that led to the removal of two foster children from the home of a gay couple
Role Simulation
Corporate Decision-Making Negotiation Role-Play:

Case of the Puerile Printer

Albie Davis and Ericka Gray
Six-party mediation with employees, employer, and legal counsel over the contested result of a sexual harassment grievance procedure
Role Simulation
Family Negotiation Role-Play:

Ellsworth v. Ellsworth

Frank Sander and William Ury
Two-party, multi-issue negotiation between lawyers for a divorcing couple over the terms of the divorce, including alimony, child support, and income tax issues
Role Simulation
Jennie Hatch & Kessely Hong
A three-party employment negotiation involving a mid-career student negotiating two job offers via email at the same time.
Role Simulation
James Lawrence
Five- or six-person mediation between manufacturing company management and a former employee (and their respective counsel) regarding the employee's departure amid allegations of sexual harassment; optional extra role for manager accused of harassment
Role Simulation
Family Negotiation Role-Play:

People v. Malvenue

Ron Karp and Bruce Patton
Two-party plea bargaining negotiation between a prosecutor and the court-appointed defender for a man accused of abusing his wife, who refuses to sign the complaint against him



Iris Bohnet

A "game-changer" that demonstrates how research is addressing gender bias, improving lives and performance.

Video and Audio

Videos and Audio

Deborah M. Kolb, with the Simmons College Graduate School of Management, and the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School

An exploration of the issue of gender in negotiations, featuring interviews with three professional women negotiators