Negotiation is one of the hottest topics in today's business table as salary negotiations are getting more common nowadays than ever. However, there are a lot of differences between men and women in terms of negotiations. Basically, this is one of the core reasons why we see variations in many sectors in terms of wages and employee facilities between the same counterparts.
Margaret Neale, distinguished professor of Management at Stanford University, USA, observed that women are simply uncomfortable with asking. The writer herself finds this observation true. She has been working in Jayed Corp, a privately owned company in Bangladesh for almost two years now and has never thought of negotiating her salary or whatsoever. What's her reason for not asking for a salary raise after working for two years? It's because she's not comfortable about asking. However, she got her increment in salary thrice till now based on her performance.
During the US Open Grand Slam tournament in 2006, the organising committee brought a new technology to assist replay the calls. In that whole tournament, one-third of the challenges were given to the players. But if we divide the calls by gender, 73 challenges were made by male players and only 28 came from the female players. It is not related to negotiations but it certainly relates to how women deal with asking. Women are less likely to feel comfortable asking.
There are many sectors in the job market where one can get to work with both males and females and because almost every sector has the 'Negotiable' tag regarding salary, even if after working together in the same sector or position, male colleagues are likely to get most of the benefits. A woman's mind works differently than a man's, which is a reason for such variations in terms of negotiating. But if a woman is given a reason for asking and negotiating, that will pay off as, according to Professor Neale, "Expectation drives behaviour."
According to her, when women are told that they are poor at negotiating, they will perform worse than their male colleagues; but, with positive encouragement, they can perform far better than their male colleagues. Give them responsibility, tell them to negotiate for a deal or anything, they will secure the best possible result. Selim Mahmud, the senior analyst at Jayed Corp, believes this notion as he says women are more sincere than men. According to him, whenever he provides any projects or tasks, female colleagues get the work done quicker than their male colleagues.
Women seek reasons and they always don't seek the reasons for themselves. Sometimes, they look forward to a responsibility they have been given, for acceptance and recognition of their capabilities. Women are most certainly in love when they get which they don't even ask, but get based on their effectiveness. They have less quality for asking for themselves but they are passionate about those things which they have been entrusted to. Mahamudul Hoque Shuvho, team lead of Customer Experience at Jayed Corp, remarked, "The world was established based on two genders. And this was possible only for equal contributions. Then how can a company be ruled and established by males only?" Mr Shuvho also shared how things have positively changed in his company when they empowered women with more responsibilities.
According to a Harvard Business Review article, women face three unique challenges while negotiating-- balancing self-advocacy and communality, managing difficult emotions and overcoming interpersonal resistance. As the article indicates, there are multiple things women can do to overcome these challenges. But balancing acts, making strategy and plans, building grit within thyself can help the most to get over these challenges.
One can find many examples out there where female employees are more successful, effective, and productive than their male colleagues in many sectors. If women are provided with the responsibilities with clear expectations towards them, they will succeed most of the time and sometimes their role, works or performances may even surprise others.
The writer is a final year BBA student majoring Finance at Sonargaon University.