If Only Our Friends Could Negotiate Our Salaries

Photo: MGM/Courtesy Everett Collection

On this National Equal Pay Day, NPR’s Planet Money looks at a weird wrinkle in the workplace double-bind that makes women who advocate for themselves less likeable: They’re really good at advocating for others. In an experiment, University of Texas assistant professor of management Emily Amanatullah had men and women negotiate a starting salary for themselves and on behalf of someone else. “When the women negotiated for themselves they asked for an average of $7,000 less than the men,” NPR reports. “But when they negotiated on behalf of a friend, they asked for just as much money as the men.” As a result, management experts recommend women think about all the people their salary supports when negotiating, such as parents, children, and friends. I say we take a page from the dress-shopping and party-peeing book and tag team all negotiations with a woman who gets us.