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Guest Post: Why do women lose at negotiation?


According to a recent survey performed by the famous website LinkedIn, it appears that business professionals are not willing to ask for higher salaries and that they prefer to stay away from a process that involves the negotiation a certain issue. The problem is that women are even more hesitant when they have to take part in a negotiation.

Experts say that a potential explanation for this problem is the fact that employers tend to pay as much as they are asked to and they don’t even try to negotiate. When it comes to salaries, employees consider that they have to agree to the amount that they get, in order to avoid being involved in a negotiation.

What makes women so frightened of negotiations?

When it comes to negotiations, it appears that women face more difficulties than men. Actually, only 26% of business women are willing to negotiate, whereas the percentage of men who don’t consider a negotiation like a thorny process goes beyond 40%. Specialists explain that generally, women feel really unsure when they have to take part in a negotiation. The main reason for this is that they believe that relationships have a greater significance in comparison with the issues that must be negotiated.

According to women, a negotiation with their boss could have a serious impact on their relationship. And because they want to stay away from embarrassing circumstances, they generally prefer to drop out their plans (no matter if they involve a better-paid salary or even a promotion) in order not to damage their relationships with the person they need to bargain.

The main issue here is that women overvalue professional relationships and undervalue themselves. That is the main reason they can’t negotiate properly. If we also take the bad economy into consideration, the situation becomes even more complicated. A recession will immediately force people to agree to whatever is offered to them and so they won’t even think about a potential negotiation.

When someone offers you a job, you will probably accept it even though the conditions don’t match your necessities and expectations. These days, people think that they have no other option but to agree to everything they can get since the economy is going through a tough period and job offers are really limited. Therefore, individuals won’t negotiate in order not to wind up unemployed. The truth is that this approach is not an efficient one and it will gravely affect both their performances and self-confidence.

Women must negotiate

Women need to be aware of the fact that proper negotiation skills will help them succeed; if women take advantage of their feminine side, they will be able to negotiate effortlessly and obtain whatever they want.

Men say that a negotiation can be compared with a poker game, while women like to consider this process a dance. Therefore, women think that a negotiation is an activity that involves both partners collaborating whereas men believe that one person has to win and the other one has to lose. But if women participate in a negotiation knowing that the outcome must satisfy both sides they will obtain excellent results. This is definitely a great attitude, but unluckily, it isn’t enough for women to initiate a negotiation.

How can women become successful negotiators?

Women should always be reminded that other ladies keep an eye on all their actions. So in case a woman is promoted to a managing position, she will immediately become a role model for a plethora of other women.

Ergo, women need to understand that their behavior will motivate other ladies to bargain and so they must strive to set a good example. Good role models can go a long way in helping women become good negotiators.

Of course, men might have tougher characters but this doesn’t mean that women are weak. The important thing is to believe in your negotiation abilities because if you do it, you will encounter no difficulties when negotiating an important matter. The business world is available to both men and women, so don’t be afraid to show everyone what you can do!

Contributed by:

William Taylor is the writer of this article. He has written several high quality articles on small businesses, negotiation, sales and leadership. He also works for a site which provides workshops in negotiation.


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  1. Forum Parikh

    this article seems kinda justified. though the irony is that women can bargain and negotiate when it comes to shopping but they tend to hesitate when in a professional environment. there are many women who can make a stand but a huge population who cant. sadly

    • aseemrastogi2

      Maybe in the professional environment women actually feel that they don’t want to say something which may harm their professional relationship with their superiors.

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