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Differences by education level:
Education played a major part in responses to all questions. A willingness to negotiate salary increases with education, but across all education levels fully a quarter of the women surveyed remained dissatisfied with their results.
- Less than one in two of those with a high school education felt prepared to negotiate salary during an interview or review; the figure goes to 60% for respondents with college degrees and to over 60% for those who had done graduate work.
- While all educational categories were inclined to personalize their results, this tendency became far less pronounced as the education level increased. Almost two-thirds of the high-school respondents personalized their results; for college graduates the figure falls to 58% and for those with graduate work to 56%.
- The willingness to horsetrade also increases with education level. High-school graduates were evenly divided on making counter-offers. This predisposition increases to 63% and 69%, respectively, for those with college or graduate degrees.
- More than half of the respondents felt confident that they could handle surprises during a salary negotiation, but here the correlation with education is inverse. Confidence is highest among those with high-school diplomas (65%), but drops off about 10% for college graduates and for those with graduate degrees.
- Between one in five and one in four respondents across all age groups were not confident when it came to negotiating on their own behalf. Again, confidence as a percentage of the age cohort was highest among high-school graduates (about 60%) and less pronounced for those with college or graduate degrees (a little under 50% for each).
- In no age group were the majority of respondents satisfied with the results of their salary negotiations. More than a quarter of those with graduate degrees were dissatisfied (27%). Although this statistic may be a function of high expectations, about the same number of high-school graduates expressed dissatisfaction with their outcomes.
Deborah M. Kolb, Carol Frohlinger, and Judith Williams are partners in The Shadow Negotiation, LLC, a company that will provides negotiation courses specifically for women on the Web. Visit their website at http://www.theshadownegotiation.com.
Deborah M. Kolb is professor of management at the Simmons College Graduate School of Management in Boston and codirector of its Center for Gender in Organization. She is a former executive director of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, where she continues as codirector of the Negotiations in the Workplace Project.
Carol Frohlinger is president of Crossell, Inc., a consulting and training company focused on helping to advance women in business. Frohlinger has over 15 years' experience consulting to major corporations on performance improvement, both developing course materials and leading training initiatives. A former practicing attorney, she holds a J.D. from Fordham University.
Judith Williams has worked in publishing and investment banking. In 1990 she left the private sector to establish a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to the study of organizational change and how women can promote it. She holds a Ph.D. from Harvard
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