Pretty Lady must admit that this one surprised her:
What we found across all the studies is men were always less willing to work with a woman who had attempted to negotiate than with a woman who did not. They always preferred to work with a woman who stayed mum. But it made no difference to the men whether a guy had chosen to negotiate or not."
This alone doesn't explain the pay gap, of course. But, it's a reminder that closing at least the pay negotiation gap will be trickier than teaching women to be more aggressive. "This isn't about fixing the women," said Bowles. "It isn't about telling women, 'You need self-confidence or training.' They are responding to incentives within the social environment ... The point of this paper is: Yes, there is an economic rationale to negotiate, but you have to weigh that against social risks of negotiating. What we show is those risks are higher for women than for men."
Although Pretty Lady is by no means a Financial Mogul, she has recently noticed a few things:
1) Raising her prices has generated more new clients, not fewer.
2) Insisting upon a market-rate fee for her recent speaking engagement, after the initial hurdle, seemed to generate a healthy respect for her expertise, and an eager willingness to follow her advice, rather than Suspicious Resentment.
3) Working for below-market-rates tends to attract demanding cheapskates who book infrequently, fail to tip, and do not think to recommend Pretty Lady's services to their friends.
Pretty Lady hates to make sweeping generalizations, and she is certain that there are many sexist bastards out there who treat working women like dirt. She is equally certain that there are female employers who resent ladies who do not act like dirt, and stiff them accordingly.
But she also wonders if the negotiation gap is not partly created by something subtler--that women who feel subconsciously guilty for negotiating will then negotiate in a defensive and unpleasant manner. Because, confidentially, Pretty Lady only started getting the above results when she was able to say, in perfect serenity, "Sweetie! That's my price, and it's a good one! If it seems too steep for you, Chinatown is that way, and I fully understand."