In 2015, Jennifer Lawrence was in the news for not getting paid as much as her co-star Bradley Cooper. She wrote that when she found out that her co-star was paid more than her, she was disappointed in herself above all else, because she did not negotiate better.
Do millions of other women give up early on negotiations because they’re scared of being perceived as “difficult” or “spoiled” by their male counterparts? “Are we socially conditioned to behave this way?” she wrote in a letter.
Studies have shown that women feel afraid of negotiating because they feel that they will be seen as too pushy or assertive.
So here are some tips on how women can negotiate better.
Be well prepared
To avoid the backlash of being seen as too aggressive or pushy, walk into that negotiating room really well prepared. Think about your argument from every side, and pre-empt what the responses might be. Signal that what you are asking for is legitimate. A well thought out argument will ensure that nobody takes advantage of you.
Hold your ground
While negotiating, there can be small micro aggressions directed against us. Words like ‘relax’ or condescending smiles can throw women off course while they are trying to have a serious discussion. But don’t let these things get to you. Instead, realise where they are coming from and let them bounce off you. Make sure you get your point across and get your work done.
Have a good alternative
If you want to have the upper hand in the negotiation, then have a firm boundary line under which you will not go. Also, keep in mind your other options and let them give you the confidence you need.
Don’t worry about what you will come across to other people. Don’t let other people’s perceptions stop you from asking what is your right. You know who you are, so don’t worry, take that step towards bettering your own life.