Women still seeking equality

Even after decades of progress, women say they have to work harder than men to get ahead. In their view, job opportunities are not equal, especially in the private sector, where career ladders are less transparent than in public service.

Salary negotiation is a case in point. Men are simply less compliant.

Pamela O’Leary, executive director of the Public Leadership Education Network, says pay gaps can start in a woman’s first job negotiation, particularly if she appears overeager to break in.

“The magic phrase we tell them to use is, ‘This number is important to me. What can we do to get me closer to this number?’ Then smile and shut up,” O’Leary says. “Don’t accept the offer immediately.”

— Adapted from “High Hurdles,” Fawn Johnson, National Journal.