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Reconceptualizing What and How Women Negotiate for Career Advancement
Keywords: career, gender, leadership, negotiation, women, work-family
Abstract: We propose a conceptual framework for the scope of the role of gender in career negotiations. Extant research emphasizes women’s disadvantages relative to men in compensation negotiations. We present an inductive study of what and how women negotiate for career advancement, drawing on data from diverse samples of negotiation accounts by senior-executive, mid-level, and early-career professionals from the public, private, and non-profits sectors and six world regions. Integrating insights from six studies, we propose a more comprehensive perspective on what men and women negotiate for, including role development and work-family conflicts, as well as compensation. We also identify three distinct negotiating strategies—asking, bending, and shaping—that vary in the extent to which the negotiator conforms to, deviates from, or attempts to redefine organization norms. Our analyses suggest that the choice of negotiating strategy has implications for career progression, particularly for navigating of nontraditional career paths and claiming leadership.