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Notes from a Breakfast with Linda Babcock

Author of "Women Don't Ask: Negotiation and the Gender Divide."

Linda started the talk with telling us how she got involved in this area in the first place. A few female grad. students had complained to her the their male peers got all the plum teaching assignments - teaching classes, as opposed to being TAs. After some investigation, she learnt that the male students had gone out and requested the concerned faculty powers that they would like to teach a class rather than be TAs as that would help their prospects when job-hunting. When she told the women students this finding, their response was that they would have asked too had they known that was an option! I am fairly certain this will resonate with many readers! She gave some other examples from studies she had conducted and said that in the final analysis, small disparities in early stages of ones career simply get magnified ("molehills turn into mountains" was one of the slide titles!), so that by the time you retire the reduced income can be staggering. Consequently, the negotiations for your first job are often pivotal in everything downstream!

She also talked about the difference in negotiation approaches and styles and considered the reasons for them. Her demographic for her studies thus far has been the West, in order to reduce cultural variables.

I will update this later.

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