Most negotiators don’t engage in the kinds of high-stakes bargaining we read about in publications such as The Wall Street Journal and The Financial Times, but almost every negotiator will need advanced salary negotiation skills during the course of her career to deal with a scenario that is, in many ways, the definition of a … Read More
In salary negotiations, job candidates are often at a disadvantage relative to the hiring organization. Due to the well-documented anchoring effect, the first figure introduced into the discussion tends to strongly influence the salary expectations. Unfortunately for candidates, the first figure mentioned in a negotiation often is not in their favor.
For example, when opening salary … Read More
Former UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres received the Program on Negotiation’s 2022 Great Negotiator Award.
On April 14, 2022, the Program on Negotiation (PON) presented its Great Negotiator Award to Christiana Figueres, formerly the Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and one of the architects of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. … Read More
What salary negotiation skills can you use if a potential employer asks you about your past salary? If you earned a competitive wage, your concern may be whether the new employer can afford you.
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Back in early 2008, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg began thinking about hiring Sheryl Sandberg, a vice president at Google and a former chief of staff for the U.S. Department of the Treasury, as the social-media company’s new chief operating officer. The two met several nights a week for almost two months to discuss … Read More
On April 14, the Program on Negotiation presented its 2022 Great Negotiator Award to Costa Rican diplomat Christiana Figueres for her success in spearheading the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change. In a daylong series of events, including a public interview led by Harvard Kennedy School professor Hannah Riley Bowles and Harvard Business School professor … Read More
In December 2014, leaks of data hacked from Sony Pictures revealed that when negotiating salary for their roles in the film American Hustle, actresses Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams came away with significantly less than their male costars in the ensemble cast. Lawrence and Adams were paid 7% of the film’s profits; Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, … Read More
Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, many jobseekers have concluded that if they are lucky enough to be offered a good job in a tight market, they lack the power needed to negotiate better employment terms. In fact, a silver lining of the crisis is that it has created new opportunities to negotiate. With the coronavirus throwing … Read More
When U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama was offered her first job after law school, it didn’t even occur to her to negotiate for a higher salary, she said in a recent interview in Parade magazine.
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Back in spring 2015, Ellen Pao, the former CEO of social networking and news website Reddit, revealed in an interview with the Wall Street Journal that her company had taken a bold move in its efforts to create an “equal opportunity environment for everyone” at the company. Specifically, Reddit no longer negotiates salary with job … Read More
To learn more about negotiation biases, let’s look back to July of 2018 when the principal flutist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO), Elizabeth Rowe, became the first Massachusetts resident to sue her employer under a new state law designed to address the persistent pay gap between men and women. Despite being the most frequent … Read More
Men and women approach negotiation differently, on average, research suggests. Women initiate negotiations on their own behalf less frequently than men, for example, though they are just as likely as men to advocate for others. In addition, women—and not men—tend to face a backlash for bargaining on their own behalf, an outcome that may explain … Read More
In December 2014, leaks of data hacked from Sony Pictures revealed pay inequities between men and women, both actors and studio executives. The revelations drew attention in Hollywood and beyond about the lingering salary gap between men and women. In particular, the news that American Hustle stars Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams were paid less … Read More
Imagine that you’re a freelance marketing consultant who is negotiating the conditions of a long-term assignment with a new client. As you think about what you will charge, you set a goal that you consider to be challenging but not impossible. The project manager balks when you first quote your rate, but you end up … Read More
Thanks to a series of cultural events and news stories, job negotiation—and the question of how to succeed at it—has become a hot topic among women professionals and businesspeople more generally. First came Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead (Knopf, 2013) and corresponding movement, which encouraged women … Read More
Suppose you are about to negotiate the price of your used car with a potential buyer. You know that the fair market value of the car is about $5,000–$6,000. You want to make an opening offer that is aggressive but not offensive. Should you name a specific price—say, $7,000—or suggest a price range, such as … Read More
What challenges do Chinese female negotiators face in negotiations in China? Like their counterparts in the West, female negotiators in China encounter barriers to doing business, but instead of a “glass ceiling,” many female Chinese feel they are rooted to a “sticky floor.”
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The average college-educated woman earns $713,000 less over the course of her working life than her male counterpart, according to the Coalition of Labor Union Women. What explains this persistent gender gap? Women employees’ awareness that they could be penalized for negotiating assertively on their own behalf is one factor, according to new research from … Read More
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella found himself in the hot seat in October after telling women attending the Grace-Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing that the best way to effectively negotiate for a raise is not to ask for one at all. Asked by Harvey Mudd College President and Microsoft Board Member Maria Klawe for advice … Read More
The following question given to Program on Negotiation faculty member and a Senior Lecturer in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School Hannah Riley Bowles: I recently figured out that I am one of the lowest-paid people at my level in my organization—even though I am one of the top performers. I am also one … Read More
It wasn’t a single mega-deal, but possibly thousands of small ones that sprang up following the publication of Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead this year.
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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 … Read More
Adapted from “What Happens When Women Don’t Ask,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter, June 2008.
Some negotiation research has found that men generally initiate negotiations to advance their own interests much more often than women do. Yet researchers also have identified certain contexts in which women routinely negotiate and achieve outcomes that match or exceed … Read More
Is there a social cost for women who negotiate assertively for themselves in the workplace? Research suggests that women who negotiated higher compensation are viewed by evaluators as being more “demanding,” which leads to a disinclination to work with them in the future. In our most recent “Dear Negotiation Coach” feature in the … Read More
Women and Public Policy Program Seminar:
Status Constraints in Negotiation:
Gender and Global (vs. Local) Culture in the Arab Gulf
Associate Professor Hannah Riley Bowles
Date: December 2, 2010
Where: WAPPP Cason Seminar Room, Taubman 1st floor
About the Seminar: Studies conducted in the rapidly globalizing Arab Gulf illuminate university students’ psychological experiences of the global and local … Read More
Women need to take the initiative in asking for a raise, Associate Professor Hannah Riley Bowles at the Harvard Kennedy School explains in a New York Times article published May 14. Her studies show that women need to take the initiative to ask for more pay and need to employ a … Read More
Adapted from “How High Should You Aim?”, first published in the Negotiation newsletter.
Research shows that moderately difficult goals can energize people and increase their performance. In negotiation, parties with relatively high aspirations often negotiate higher individual payoffs. But there can be a downside: impasse and unethical behavior may be more likely.
In a study conducted by … Read More
Adapted from “When Does Gender Matter in Negotiation?” by Dina W. Pradel (vice president, Y2M), Hannah Riley Bowles (professor, Harvard Kennedy School), and Kathleen L. Mcginn (professor, Harvard Business School), first published in the Negotiation newsletter.
Businesspeople often wonder whether men or women are better negotiators. According to research, gender is not a reliable predictor of … Read More
Adapted from “Gender Assertiveness and Implicit Sexism,” first published in the Negotiation newsletter.
Most gender research in negotiation has examined differences between women and men, such as the tendency of women to be more anxious about the process and to set lower aspirations than men. The question of how people react to female negotiators versus … Read More
Under certain conditions, women may work harder than men when negotiating on behalf of others, suggests a study by Harvard professors Hannah Riley Bowles and Kathleen McGinn, and Carnegie Mellon University professor Linda Babcock.
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