Book Review: Women Don’t Ask

Women Don’t Ask: Negotiation and the Gender Divide


Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever




Women make 77% of every dollar a man makes.  In their book Women Don’t Ask, Babcock and Laschever use analytical research and historical anecdote to explain why women make less than men for the same quality of work and how to teach everyone to negotiate on behalf of themselves, men and women alike, and how to negotiate better.


In sum, Babcock and Laschever use statistics, real case studies, and anecdotes to prove that men make more than women because they ask for more and more often than women.  The authors go further into analysis of how much women really miss out on financially and in their careers by neglecting to negotiate at the beginning and each year thereafter of their careers.  Lastly, the authors explore the damaging consequences for society given the current gender differences in all negotiations.




It says a lot that I recommend this book to every female I know.  I also bought this book for my Mom, who’s in the middle of a career change, as her Christmas present this past Christmas.  This book offers research and anecdotes to increase every woman’s self-confidence in negotiating at work and in life.


“Women Don’t Ask” is a great book to read in order to better understand negotiation and the gender divide.  In my opinion, it helped me build my confidence for asking for more negotiations and asking for more in each negotiation.  However, this book is not necessarily a “How-to” book on negotiation either.  What I liked most and what I will take away from this book are the research experiments which created identical outcomes for both men and women in a given negotiation.  Through these experiments, Babcock and Laschever open the discussions on which variables will more assist women in making an equal dollar for dollar as men through their own negotiating efforts.


Table of Contents


Preface: Why Negotiation, and Why Now?

Introduction: Women Don’t Ask

Chapter One: Opportunity Doesn’t Always Knock

Chapter Two: A Price Higher Than Rubies

Chapter Three: Nice Girls Don’t Ask

Chapter Four: Scaring the Boys

Chapter Five: Fear of Asking
Chapter Six:
Low Goals and Safe Targets

Chapter Seven: Just So Much and No More

Chapter Eight: The Female Advantage

Epilogue: Negotiating at Home


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