Carnegie Mellon University
November 26, 2012

Press Release: Let's Make a Deal: New Carnegie Mellon Leadership Program for Women Focuses on Negotiation

Heinz College Course Features Expertise in STEM Fields; Subject Gaining Global Attention

Contact: Ken Walters / 412-268-1151 /

PITTSBURGH-Great leaders are great negotiators, yet women hold far fewer leadership roles than men and often wait to be promoted rather than negotiate the conditions for their success. This disparity inspired a new program from Carnegie Mellon University's H. John Heinz III College, which is working to break down this barrier by teaching effective negotiation skills to women.

"The Heinz College Negotiation Academy for Women is the first program for women that looks at leadership through a negotiation lens," said M.J. Tocci, director of the academy. "Every component of leadership involves some sort of negotiation, whether it's dealing for resources to improve job performance, resolving conflicts or promoting collaboration with teams."

Research shows that women face negative social consequences when they do bargain and as a result women ask for less and get less, Tocci said, noting that women may underestimate the importance of negotiation skills.

In addition to its leadership components, the program will include the use of negotiation in science, technology and math (STEM) fields, in which women are vastly underrepresented at all levels and especially in leadership. A recent study from Yale published by the American Academy of Science documented significant gender bias in hiring in STEM fields, Tocci noted.

"Women don't have access to the same networks for funding research as their male colleagues, are often evaluated by different standards and need to bargain for the resources they need to be successful," she said. "Because there are few women in the field, they tend to be more visible and more scrutinized than their male colleagues."

The academy was co-founded by Tocci and CMU economics professor Linda Babcock, co-author of two highly regarded books about women and negotiation, "Women Don't Ask: The High Cost of Avoiding Negotiation-and Positive Strategies for Change" and "Ask For It: How Women Can Use the Power of Negotiation to Get What They Really Want."

The subject is garnering attention around the world, as Tocci recently participated in three workshops on gender and negotiation in France. She has been asked to replicate this program in India and throughout Europe.

"Negotiation is an uncomfortable word for a lot of people, especially women, not only in the U.S. but also internationally," she said. "After this academy, women will be confident in their negotiation skills and be able to navigate around the obstacles so they can realize their potential as leaders."

The program, which begins in mid-January 2013, consists of five two-day sessions that occur once a month at CMU's Pittsburgh campus. Faculty members from Heinz College and CMU's Tepper School of Business will be teaching the program's courses.

For more information about the program, visit: