A newly released paper (December 2007), written by scholars Hannah Riley Bowles, John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, and Kathleen L. McGinn, Harvard Business School, considers the “Untapped Potential in the Study of Negotiation and Gender Inequality in Organizations” (in PDF).
Here’s an excerpt:
The literature on gender in job negotiations helps to explain gender differences in compensation among managers and professionals. It also suggests explanations for the gender asymmetric distribution of other types of negotiable resources and career opportunities within organizations. This literature shows that, even before any interaction takes place, gender is likely to influence the negotiation expectations of those who control the organizational resources and opportunities as well as of those who seek them. Particularly in contexts in which resources and opportunities tend to flow to men—for instance, because the industry, occupation or organizational hierarchy is male dominated—the expectations for men to receive such organizational benefits are likely to be higher than for women, and prenegotiation expectations tend to predict outcomes. Even if men and women have the same aspirations, gendered behavioral norms may constrain women from negotiating as effectively as men. For instance, concerned about the social risks of negotiating, women may be more reticent than their male peers to request greater resources and career opportunities.