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Women Negotiation in Workforce: Barriers, and How to Overcome

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Patrice Green

Women Negotiation in Workforce: barriers, and How to Overcome

Organizational Behavior and Development

June 9, 2018


I am an Area Operations Manager II at Amazon Fulfillment. I was recently selected by my senior leadership team to be a part of a group which is prompting inclusion and diversity of women within the Amazon organization. We most recently had a conference meeting entitled Women n Leadership Limelight (WILL) which empowers women leaders through the company that are on salary level, giving advice on how to approach different scenario’s women face as leaders within the organization and statistical data to support factual points in regard to why women tend to make less money than men and why women tend to make up less than 5 percent as one climb the corporate ladder not only within our organization, but all levels of corporate business. It is believed incorporating and embracing diversity and inclusiveness within the organization it will inform and empower women to understand and become better negotiators for their careers, become more visible in the hierarchy corporate level, and give support to women across the organization to assist with the level of inclusiveness and diversity the company is thriving to flourish.

The book I chose from our database within FIT library’s “GetAbstract” link is a book entitled “Women Don’t Ask” Negotiation and the Gender Divide by Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever. I chose this book as it relates to the topic we were discussing within our conference meeting as well as its brief discussion on negotiating that is similar to what our text book speaks of in chapter 10.  Negotiation is defined in our textbook as “a give-and-take decision-making process involving two or more parties with different preferences” (Kinicki & Fugate, 2015). Many times within Amazon corporate realm, there are negotiating wages, shift preferences, and building/region preferences. Our textbook goes further to discuss two types of negotiation. “Distributive negotiation usually involves a single issue which one person gains at the expense of another i.e. win/lose strategy, and Integrative negotiation usually happens where an agreement can be found that is better for both parties than what they would have reached through distributive negotiations i.e. win/win strategy” (Kinicki & Fugate, 2015) .  Many women don’t realize integrative negotiation is a great way to get what they want and think they deserve as active stakeholders for their organizations.

Women Don’t Ask Negotiation and the Gender Divide explains that there are evident external factors that contribute to women making less than men, but there are also internal factors that play an even more direct role in women making less than men. Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever stated in the above mentioned book, “while women may indeed be the victims of external forces, they also to some extent may suffer from their own inability, unwillingness or aversion to negotiate or make demands” ((Babcock & Laschever, 2007)). At our WILL conference the question was asked by one of our facilitators what causes women to make less than men? We all sat in silence for a few seconds as no one had a direct answer for the question. As we thought about it, answers began to pour out- we are scared to ask for something higher or something more than what is offered, and we don’t know how to ask. A few pointers from Babcock and Laschever’s book that stick out the most and resemble most of our talk at the WILL conference are “women make less money than men because they don’t ask for more” and goes further to list a few possible reasons to why women don’t ask which are “women may not know that they can ask or even how to ask, women fear being considered pushy, woman may yield too easily when they encounter initial resistance” ((Babcock & Laschever, 2007)). One of our discussions at the conference pertained the explanation to why very similar to those mentioned in Babcock and Laschever’s book. As part of the training and participation, each of us had to group with a partner and discuss what-if negotiation analysis to help equip us for possible scenarios we could encounter within our current career path.

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