A Debate Run Amok

woman_stairsWhat a long strange trip it has been.

Our Tuesday post—about one woman's job negotiation, in which she admitted having inflated her salary—provoked a feisty debate about the ethics of lying about your income.

Alas, what got obscured in all the mudslinging was the more vital issue of how women handle salary negotiations. In the original post—pause, wipe off mud—the writer admitted that in a 20-year career she had never once asked for a salary increase.

When she did ask for more money, in the course of her recent job application, she got it.

Here at DailyWorth we are on a mission to close the gender wage gap. We don't condone lying. Unfortunately, that's what hogged the spotlight, instead of the real travesty: Countless women are underpaid and they lack the confidence and know-how to ask for what they are worth.

Consider the letter we got from a former recruiter:

"I had a range and I couldn't go over that range," she wrote. "I was told to always offer the lower amount—period. The men ALWAYS negotiated their salaries and ALWAYS got more. The women NEVER negotiated their salaries. It used to pain me to hear women accept the first offer."

And when the NYT blogged about the DailyWorth debacle, this was the top-voted reader response:

"Discussions of salary are negotiations, and bluffing isn't the same as lying."

While we retracted the original post so as not to put anyone at risk, we did so with reservations. Our aim is to show women that their true worth is rarely reflected in their pay—and that by speaking up they can and should earn more.

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