End the gender pay gap? Ban salary negotiations

hands passing money“At the bargaining table, women are in a no-win situation,” because “the traits that both men and women associate with good negotiators are tied up with ideas of masculinity,” says Laura Kray, a professor at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. “That association automatically gives men the perceived upper hand in negotiations.”

So if women aren’t tough enough at negotiating, “why not just train them to ‘man up’? Unfortunately, even when they do employ traditionally male tactics, women still lose,” she says. “Training them to be tough negotiators won’t overcome the cultural rules rigged against them in the workplace.”

Given that the very nature of salary negotiations creates a gender pay gap — one that’s “fueled by small gender biases over time, negotiation-free workplaces are women’s best option for getting the salaries they deserve,” Kray writes.

Read Laura Kray’s opinion piece in the Washington Post.