Carnegie Mellon University


The Program for Research and Outreach on Gender Equity in Society

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Why We Exist?

The tendency for women to negotiate less than men is a current and persisting problem, even among young college-aged women and those in business schools today. Unless society makes changes to the way we socialize our children and change our attitudes to allow women to be more direct in asking for what they want, this problem will continue to have an adverse impact on women for decades to come.

Targeted programs that seek to educate women and girls about this issue and teach them to negotiate effectively can have a very tangible impact on their well-being. Furthermore, raising awareness of a critical gender biases that create long term inequities can be instrumental in societal change.

Why Women?

Dr.Babcock's award winning book, Women Don’t Ask, has been extremely successful in getting this message out to adult women. However, her research shows that because behavior and attitudes about negotiation are adopted early in life, the greatest impact can be achieved if negotiation training begins at a young age.

Learning how to negotiate starts by taking one’s own voice seriously, gaining confidence in talking to peers, and feeling comfortable resisting the pressure to engage in activities that put one’s safety, health, and future in jeopardy. Negotiation can also help to strengthen girls’ relationships with parents, family members, teachers, and other adults in girls’ lives. By teaching girls to negotiate, we can help to successfully reshape the futures of all girls.

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