A new study finds that men and women aren’t all that different when it comes to being willing to ask for better compensation. And yet, over the course of their careers, women stand to lose as much as half a million dollars just by failing to negotiate their first job’s starting salary. Here’s how to make up lost ground.
When Sue Thirlwall, CEO of Miniluxe (think the Starbucks of nail salons) was a newly-minted Harvard MBA, she discovered some life-altering information. “I learned that male MBAs were getting paid $5,000 more than I was.” Though she’d negotiated her best to be at parity with the guys, the firm that made her an offer wouldn’t budge. “They were adamant,” she recalls, “despite the fact that [being slightly older] I had significantly more management and leadership experience.”
Thirlwall took the job anyway and received a very early promotion. She still wishes she’d held out for more. “I believe they may have come back with the same salary [as the men’s] had I turned it down.” As a result, Thirlwall believes she was behind in compensation because she accepted the lower starting salary.
She’s not alone. In a study cited by Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever, authors of Women Don’t Ask, if a woman doesn’t push to ask for more money in her first job, she stands to lose more than $500,000 by the time she reaches age 60.
Ironically, says Thirlwall, negotiating that first salary should be easiest. “The stakes are lowest before you go into a company,” she argues, “It’s just like dating before you actually get to know someone.” A recent study from the National Bureau of Economic Research indicates that women aren’t really less likely to negotiate. What they are is reluctant to do so in certain circumstances, like a face-to-face meeting, the study found.
A report by the Atlantic noted that the study didn’t follow job seekers as they advanced through their careers—or show how men and women negotiated differently as a result of age and experience. So Fast Company turned to career coaches, human resources directors, and employment consultants to weigh in on what might happen next. Here’s what they told us.
After longtime focus on Arab refugees, Israel putting Jewish refugees on the agenda
This month a meeting took place with little fanfare, addressing a subject that has sat on the sidelines throughout the peace process, having received only the slightest media attention. The topic of the meeting was about refugees.
No, not Palestinian refugees; Jewish refugees.
For many years the world has heard about the “right of return.” This refers to Arabs who became displaced during the defensive war Israel was forced to fight when the surrounding Arab countries attacked it the day after declaring independence in 1948.
Arabs during 1948 war with Israel Photo: AFP
The plan was for Israel to be destroyed “in a few weeks,” allowing Arabs to return to their home. Yet these plans were dashed as Israel won the war. After Israel’s victory, not a single Arab country took these Arabs in - they were intentionally left to become “refugees,” so the world would perceive Israel as the villain.
For more than 60 years now, most of them have lived in camps. As part of any peace agreement with Israel, Mahmoud Abbas has demanded that they and their descendants be allowed to return. Today they number more than five million. Their return would mean Jews would no longer be the majority in the only country designated as their homeland.
If they are not allowed to return, Abbas has demanded compensation.
Compensating those complicit in a plan to destroy Israel seems a logical absurdity.
What is virtually never given media attention is the issue of Jewish refugees. For centuries, Jewish communities existed in many Arab countries. Their combined numbers were estimated to be roughly 850,000. The UN partition vote in 1947 brought tremendous upheaval for them.
The creation of the tiny state of Israel brought about a harsh reaction from Arab countries where Jews lived. They lost jobs and had their homes and land taken away. Their assets were frozen. Many were jailed, and some were killed. Virtually all of them were eventually forced to flee with just the clothes on their backs, and whatever they could carry.
The recent meeting, which seeks to raise awareness of the Jewish refugee issue, was hosted by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Attendees included individuals from numerous organizations representing Jews from Arab countries.
Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon opened the meeting by calling attention to the injustice done to the Jewish refugees.
Ayalon also asked the Arab League to take responsibility for giving birth to the Palestinian refugees by declaring war on Israel, which caused their displacement. He insisted that if compensation is part of future negotiations, it will be addressed only on a mutual basis, which includes Jewish refugees.
This meeting represents an attempt by Israel to counter the Arab revisionist agenda by presenting documented facts designed to bring fairness and media attention to this long overlooked component of the “peace process.” Whether the balance of opposing narratives will shift remains to be seen.
While much remains in dispute, there is one indisputable fact about the peace process. There has been far too much “process,” and far too little “peace.”