Women Don’t Owe You Pretty | Florence Given

Summary of: Women Don’t Owe You Pretty
By: Florence Given


In this book summary of ‘Women Don’t Owe You Pretty’, Florence Given uncovers societal norms and expectations that hinder women’s ability to negotiate and compete in the professional world. This summary highlights the reasons behind the pay gap experienced by women compared to men, societal conditioning around passivity, and the impact of early failures in negotiation. Throughout the book, Given discusses how women can break free from traditional norms, equip themselves with effective negotiation skills, and ultimately achieve a higher professional status and earning potential.

The Power of Negotiation for Women

Women face challenges in their careers because they often fail to negotiate effectively, leading to lower pay and fewer promotions. This is not just due to overt discrimination, but also cultural and personal factors. Women are less likely to compete and fear social disapproval, which holds them back from advocating for their own interests. These early failures compound over time, leading to a significant disparity in pay and status. Even when women do negotiate, they are often offered less than men in similar situations. Negotiating skills are crucial for women, given the many roles they play at work and in their personal lives. Women need to recognize the importance of negotiation and learn to advocate for themselves in order to achieve the same opportunities and success as men.

The Power Of Negotiation in the Workplace

Men tend to get paid more and have more leisure time than women, mainly because they are more skilled in negotiating deals. The majority of women are not trained to negotiate nor do they negotiate when the opportunity arises. Studies show that men can negotiate salaries leading to significantly better payoffs than women. Men graduating with an MBA program often negotiate salary packages averaging 4.3% higher than their initial offer, whereas women settle for packages averaging only 2.7% above their initial offers which is an astonishing 59% less than men. Research shows that being likable is crucial for women who want to influence others positively. When women negotiate like their male counterparts, the gender pay gap can reduce significantly, and women’s influence at the workplace increases when they are liked. It is high time that women realize the importance of negotiation skills and strive to level the playing field at the workplace with men.

Women and Negotiations

Women often lose the negotiation game due to their reluctance to ask. They accept what they are given, while men negotiate more frequently, starting the career race a few steps ahead. The risks involved in displaying competence, promoting ambitions, and ensuring fair evaluation deter women from negotiation. A salary differential of $5,000 annually on the first job can lead to a wealth difference of half a million dollars by retirement. Self-assessment plays a vital role; employers seldom dispute low self-assessment. Women need to understand that the willingness to accept lower pay sends an important message about self-respect and self-evaluation. Women should be more assertive and confident when it comes to negotiations to level the playing field.

Why Women Don’t Ask

Women may be missing out on opportunities because they don’t ask for what they want. Fear of being perceived as “pushy” or lacking knowledge of how to negotiate can hold women back. Additionally, societal stereotypes and attitudes push women towards submissive roles, while boys are more likely to be taught to take risks and fight for what they want. Women also score lower than men in recognizing and exploiting negotiating opportunities and are more likely to believe that circumstances are out of their control. These differences may stem from childhood experiences and imputed gender differences. The result is that men acquire more economic and noneconomic resources than women, perpetuating the cycle of gender inequality.

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