Introducing The She-Suite™ Club

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Have you hit the “glass ceiling” so many times, it feels as if the top of your head is flat? Has your journey through the executive ranks seem to have stalled out? Are your dedication and hard work going unrewarded? Are you feeling underappreciated or misunderstood in the workplace? If so…welcome to The Club!

“This is THE place, where like-minded, executive-minded, forward-thinking women come to communicate—collaborate—and celebrate everything that it means to be a career-focused woman in a male-dominated work environment. This isn’t about ‘us vs. them.’ This is about us making a name for ourselves—taking a seat, and truly owning that seat, at the executive table—and doing so not as ‘clones’ of men, but as authentic, self-confident, self-empowered women.”

Amanda Blesing

2 x Author; Women’s C-Suite Mentor & Executive Coach; Founder: The She-Suite™ Club

Where empowered women empower other women. Because when women win, everyone wins.

Do women negotiate just as much as men?

Studies and surveys have shown that, on average, women tend to negotiate less frequently than men. In my first book Step Up, Speak Out Take Charge – a woman’s guide to getting ahead in your career, I devote almost an entire chapter to negotiation tactics for women. I referenced research by Linda Babcock et al, where she found that women negotiate four times (4x) less frequently than men and when women do negotiate with negotiate for a third less (1/3).

Mind-blowing. And this is not because women make worse negotiators than.

In fact, in different research, when women were “reminded of their femininity” in mixed pair negotiations they outperformed men – so it’s not a lack of skill.

It’s this shying away from negotiation that can stem from a range of factors including socialisation, cultural expectations, and perceived risks associated with negotiation.

Five reasons why women may negotiate less often than men

1. Socialisation:
From a young age, girls are frequently socialised to prioritise cooperation and collaboration and to avoid conflict, while boys are often encouraged to be assertive and competitive. Women are also frequently socialised to be “less interested in money”, with women celebrated for being able to do more with less for many generations. This can definitely influence negotiation behaviours later in life and can lead to women avoiding negotiating.

2. Perceived Risks:
Women frequently perceive negotiation as risky, fearing backlash or negative consequences for being seen as too aggressive, even demanding and losing likability. This concern about negative social repercussions will often deter women from initiating negotiations. In fact, many women tell me they’d rather settle for less money, than rock the boat and potentially lose likeability or come across as greedy.

3. Stereotypes and Biases:
Gender stereotypes and biases can influence how negotiation behaviours are perceived leading to some rather odd double standards. Women may be penalised for negotiating assertively, whereas men may be rewarded for similar or even the same behaviour. Time and time again, research has shown that in studies where names on documents have been disguised or even flipped, the documents with masculine names on were celebrated as strong, assertive and appropriate, whereas the same document with a female name was criticised as overly aggressive.

4. Confidence and Self-Efficacy:
Research has shown that women may have lower levels of confidence and self-efficacy in negotiating situations compared to men. This affects our willingness to initiate negotiations or advocate for ourselves effectively. Obviously, the more women practice negotiation, the more confident we become. So, my advice? Don’t start with a really big important negotiation. Practice small on non-important items and build up.

5. Lack of Role Models:
The underrepresentation of women in leadership positions and traditionally male-dominated industries can result in a lack of female role models for negotiation. Without visible examples of successful female negotiators, women may be less inclined to negotiate. If learning to negotiate is important to you, find a female role model who is doing it well. Listen to her, watch her body language and observe her approach as much as you can to not just inspire you but work out what’s working and why.

While these trends exist at a general level, it’s important to note that individual experiences vary, and not all women avoid negotiation. In fact, given my 6-year background leading the peak body for consumer affairs professionals, where I worked with some of the best negotiators in Australia, most of them were women. You would want them on your side, they were that skilful. However, the challenge came only when they had to negotiate for themselves – and therein lies the rub. When it comes to self-negotiating, our socialisation can kick in and undermine even the best in the business unless they are aware.

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What My Incredible Clients Have to Say…

Thank you so much Amanda. You have brought out the best of me and put it on a page.

Amanda helped me build my digital brand with a strategic approach that’s aligned to my long-term career goals. I learned to add value and richness to my network and customers, and I have a visibility strategy that is above the line and future-focused!

It’s a blast working with Amanda – I can feel the momentum growing – now a matter of me putting my foot on the pedal to get myself out there in full confidence!


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