A Better Way to Ask for More

Hanna Rosin

Imagine that you’re an executive, and you learn that a guy who’s a rung or two lower is earning more. You’re pissed.

If your goal is to get a raise for yourself, don’t complain to your boss that it’s unfair, says Hanna Rosin, author of “The End of Men: And the Rise of Women,” a provocative new book about shifting gender roles.

“We’re in a transitional time,” Rosin said in a telephone interview. Women do command more power, but “there’s still some discomfort with that, and we need to tiptoe around certain dynamics.”

“It’s annoying,” she admitted. But studies of workplace behavior show that women negotiate more successfully when they align what they want with the goals of the organization.

In the above scenario, you might want to point out that the company should cultivate a reputation of paying its executives fairly, for example.

“You have to own your power, but be smart about how you maneuver to the top,” Rosin said.

Rather than plug your accomplishments (something many women struggle with anyway), create a story that’s more about a win-win.

As Rosin put it: “It’s all about the theatrics of negotiation.”


Out of the Box
According to a recent government study, full-time working women in 2010 earned a median salary of about $36,900, versus $47,700 for men.


Balance. How do you navigate gender-power dynamics at work?

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