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CHAPTER SIX: Low Goals and Safe Targets

6

Low Goals and Safe Targets

Men acquire more economic resources than women—they earn higher salaries, own more property, boast bigger stock portfolios, and leave behind larger estates when they die. Women also fare badly when it comes to noneconomic resources, such as leisure time. One study shows, for example, that even when both spouses work full-time, a huge percentage of women do most of the housework and childcare, leaving them little time for themselves.1 Although we can point to deep historical and sociological reasons for women coming up short both economically and otherwise, we’re convinced that negotiation also plays a critical part in this seemingly universal phenomenon. Not only are women less likely than men to ask for more than they have—they usually come away with less than men even when they do negotiate. This is particularly true in single-issue, or “distributive,” negotiations, in which only one item, such as a salary increase or the price of a car, is being discussed.2 Even among Ivy League MBA students conducting negotiations, a group you might expect to include some of the toughest, most capable (and competitive) young women in America, Linda, Hannah Riley, and Kathleen McGinn found that women produce worse results than those produced by men (on average 30 percent worse).3


  

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