Parenting Girls for Negotiation Success in Life

How do we raise females to foster confidence, particularly in negotiation, by breaking cultural and societal stereotypes and leading lives and careers equally aligned with their male counterparts?

Boys and girls are informed early by their parents’ behaviors, with important consequences for their future attitudes and choices. For instance, research by HBS Professor Kathleen McKin and colleagues has found that women raised by working moms end up having higher incomes than women whose moms stayed at home full time as parents serve as role models and shape their children’s expectations about gender roles. And men raised by working mums have more egalitarian views in the workplace regarding gender.

The divergence of genders begins very early on, as outlined in Women Don’t Ask (2003). In general, men as “bosses” and women as “workers” is evident across many realms, like household work roles (type of task, overall workload), driving the car, paying for things outside the home, etc. This correlates with findings that show being male is more associated with opportunity and freedom while being female with constraint.

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