Book review: Women don't ask: Negotiation and the gender divide, by Babcock and Laschever

I discovered this book thanks to Valerie Aurora, looking up her website after hearing her speak at SkyCon '07. It's taken me a while to get around to reading it but it was very worthwhile. I would recommend reading Val's review of it, which I linked above and will link again because it's a really good review. I don't know if the book has "changed" my life just yet, but it's certainly been making me think a hell of a lot, it's made me more observant of the subtle -- or non-subtle I had totally missed until now because they seem so "normal" -- ways in which girls and boys are treated and the expectations that are put upon them from early on, and how people (of both genders) react to things differently depending on the gender of the person who said or did it.

I really enjoyed all the studies described all along the book, as well as the insights the book provides in understanding where a lot of social expectations and pressures come from and how they shape and affect how people, including myself, behave or react to others' actions. Knowing this is helpful to understand people's behaviour better and hopefully would encourage the readers, no matter their gender, to negotiate better for themselves. I look forward to having a look at "Ask for it", the follow-up book which focuses on giving actual strategies to improve negotiation skills.


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