Negotiating While Female

26 Pages Posted: 16 Feb 2018  

Andrea Kupfer Schneider

Marquette University - Law School

Date Written: February 14, 2018


Why are women paid less than men? Prevailing ethos conveniently blames the woman and her alleged inability to negotiate. This article argues that blaming women for any lack of negotiation skills or efforts is inaccurate and that prevailing perceptions about women and negotiation are in-deed myths. The first myth is that women do not negotiate. While this is true in some lab studies and among younger women, more recent workplace data calls this platitude into question. The second myth is that women should avoid negotiations because of potential backlash. Although women in leadership do face an ongoing challenge to be likeable, it is clear that not negotiating has long-term detrimental effects. The third myth, based on the limited assumption that a good negotiator must be assertive, is that women cannot negotiate as well as men. However, the most effective negotiators are not just assertive, but also empathetic, flexible, socially intuitive, and ethical. Women can and do possess these negotiation skills. This article concludes by proposing an action plan which provides advice on how women can become more effective negotiators and identifies structural changes that might encourage negotiation and reduce the gender pay gap.

Keywords: negotiation, gender, pay gap, gender disparity, workplace, leadership, conflict, skills

Suggested Citation

Schneider, Andrea Kupfer, Negotiating While Female (February 14, 2018). Southern Methodist University Law Review, Vol. 70, No. 3, 2017; Marquette Law School Legal Studies Paper No. 18-12. Available at SSRN:

Andrea Kupfer Schneider (Contact Author)

Marquette University - Law School ( email )

Eckstein Hall
P.O. Box 1881
Milwaukee, WI 53201
United States

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