As it’s International Women’s Day, I’ve been thinking about women and negotiation.

Women make great negotiators, but all too often they neglect to negotiate for themselves.  Research I conducted last year showed that almost 100% of women do not attempt, or even consider, negotiating their starting salary.  The Gender Pay Gap is alive and well – and indeed thriving across the world.

There were many reasons given for this, but I think it mainly comes down to confidence.  Not just confidence in “being brave enough to ask”, but confidence in themselves.  Confidence in their own abilities and their own self worth.

We have come a long way when it comes to equal opportunities in the West, but sadly all too often we easily revert to stereotyping which eats away at a woman’s self confidence on a daily basis, from a young age all the way through life.

So, today especially, I urge you to embrace the differences in skills sets, embrace womens many abilities in business, embrace their commitment, their empathy, their strengths.

And above all, encourage them to negotiate for their worth!