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Opinion
Stefanie O'Connell Rodriguez

Stop Punishing Women for Being Ambitious

Women are told to “always negotiate” and “speak up more” to close gender gaps. But when they do, they face consequences.

Is this going to cost me?

Is this going to cost me?

Photographer: Sean Gallup/Getty Images Europe

By now, we’ve all heard about the gender gaps in pay and wealth: On average, women in the U.S. earn $0.82 and own just $0.32 for every $1 earned and owned by a man, and the disparities are even wider for women of color.

What’s less talked about is that women themselves tend to be blamed for these gaps. (See: “Women don’t pursue high paying jobs;” “Women drop out of the workforce;” “Women let their partners manage their money;” “Women don’t invest.”) And they’re often penalized when trying to close them.