I was listening to NPR while driving home last week and heard a story about how women still earn, on average, 80 percent of what men earn for the same jobs. The point of the story was not this so much as it was about the underlying fact that women tend not to negotiate their first salary, and therefore lose out on the compounding, if you will, that a higher initial salary would generate. One expert cited that women leave as much as $1 million – $ 1.5 million “on the table” over the course of a career.
Women’s failure to negotiate was the central point of the story. They went on to talk about the age old stereotype that women who negotiate are seen as too aggressive and men who negotiate are respected for it.
This led me to wonder whether there is any correlation in our industry. After all, the business of collections is all about negotiation with consumers. But it’s also about developing relationships, and making people feel at ease so they will be more willing to talk.
Are there any statistics that say that women, on average, are any better or worse than men at debt collection? If the above hypothesis about negotiation holds true, it might suggest that men are more productive. On the other hand, perhaps the more disarming approach of a woman would be more effective.
What are your thoughts?
A few related resources that some may find interesting:
This is a link to the NPR story I mentioned above: http://www.npr.org/2011/02/14/133599768/ask-for-a-raise-most-women-hesitate
This is a terrific talk given by Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook. It’s just under 15 minutes and well worth the time: http://www.ted.com/talks/sheryl_sandberg_why_we_have_too_few_women_leaders.html