Teaching women to negotiate may not be the solution
That’s according to writer Nora Caplan-Bricker in her recent article in Slate, who says the way to close the gender wage gap is by banning salary negotiations altogether.
In her interview on The Jon McComb Show, Caplan-Bricker talked about studies that show how even when women do negotiate well, or advocate for themselves using the exact same language as men, people tend to respond to them differently.
She cites one study which actually found that flirtatiousness aids women in financial negotiations, quoting Berkeley-Haas School of Business professor Laura J. Kray from an article she published in the Washington Post.
“When it comes to playing hardball, women are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. Training them to be tough negotiators won’t overcome the cultural rules rigged against them in the workplace. And it’s galling to think that women might need to employ a “Mad Men”-era strategy of flirtation to get a fair shake. Given that salary negotiations ignite the gender pay gap at the starting gate,a gap fueled by small gender biases over time, negotiation-free workplaces are women’s best option for getting the salaries they deserve.”
LISTEN to the full interviews with Madeline Berg (00:01 – 06:25) and Nora Caplan-Bricker (06:25 – 10:14):
Even Hollywood’s female stars suffer the gender wage gap
Jon McComb spoke with Madeline Berg, a writer and producer with Forbes who recently published an article titled Everything You Need To Know About The Hollywood Pay Gap. In it, Berg discusses how Hollywood regularly compensates female stars less than their male counterparts.
Actress Jennifer Lawrence of The Hunger Games,addressed the pay gap in an essay last month.
“When the Sony hack happened and I found out how much less I was being paid than the lucky people with dicks, I didn’t get mad at Sony, I got mad at myself…I failed as a negotiator because I gave up early.”
According to Berg, it’s not just the size of of the paycheck that’s the problem, it’s also that women are underrepresented on the big screen.
“…only 28.1% of characters in 2014’s top 100 films were female and of that percent, only 21 had a female lead or co-lead. The misrepresentation is even worse behind the camera: Of the same films, women made up only 1.9% of directors, 11.2% of writers and 18.9% of producers. This only aggravates the problem. The report found that in productions where women held key positions off-screen—as directors, writers and producers—the films featured women more often, and in less sexualized roles.”
Berg says that when it comes to women in music, the wage gap isn’t as wide, but women are discouraged from talking about their earnings and success.