75 Women Requesting Salary

Based on Research by Lisa Barron, Ph.D., 2003. Psychology Science Minute written by Kyle Piecora, M.S..

Have you ever asked for a raise?  If you are a woman you are less likely to have asked than a man, and if you are a man, you probably asked for a higher amount than your female colleagues.

To investigate how gender affects salary negotiations, Dr. Lisa Barron used pretend negotiations and post-negotiation interviews.  Male and female MBA students negotiated with a hiring manager, mimicking naturally occurring salary negotiations. A “hiring manager,” offered a position with a fake company, with a given salary and bonus.  Several days beforehand, the participants were informed that MBA peers had gotten similar positions at other companies with 10% higher salaries and double bonuses. Results indicated that men’s initial salary requests were significantly higher than women’s requests. Furthermore, those who asked for higher salaries received higher salaries.

The participants who requested higher salaries believed in their worth, that they were entitled to more money and needed to prove themselves; while those who requested the same salary as others were unsure of their worth and felt entitled only to the same salary as others.

Women, you can have some influence on closing that obstinate gender gap in wages. Value the skills you bring to a position and be willing to negotiate.  Ask for a higher salary.  You likely will earn more.


Barron, Lisa A. (2003). Ask and you shall receive? Gender differences in negotiators’ beliefs about requests for a higher salary. Human Relations, 56, 6, 635-662. doi: 10.1177/00187267030566001

Kolb, D. M. (2009), Too Bad for the Women or Does It Have to Be? Gender and Negotiation Research over the Past Twenty-Five Years. Negotiation Journal, 25: 515–531. doi: 10.1111/j.1571-9979.2009.00242.x

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