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Learning How to Ask: Women and Negotiation

Fischer, Lauren H. M.D.; Bajaj, Anureet K. M.D.

Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery: March 2017 - Volume 139 - Issue 3 - p 753–758
doi: 10.1097/PRS.0000000000003063
Special Topics: Women in Plastic Surgery
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Summary: Women are less likely to reach top-level leadership positions, and more likely to leave academic positions, than men, and are likely to earn less money than men. Women are also less likely to initiate a negotiation—a process that is crucial for professional advancement. This reluctance to ask hinders their advancement and can have long-lasting consequences—both financial and professional. The reasons that women do not ask are multifactorial. In this article, we will explore reasons why women are less likely to negotiate, the barriers they face when they do, and strategies that women can apply to improve their negotiation skills.

Palo Alto, Calif.; and Oklahoma City, Okla.

From the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Stanford School of Medicine, Stanford University; and Bajaj Plastic Surgery.

Received for publication June 28, 2016; accepted August 24, 2016.

Disclosure: The authors have no financial interest to declare in relation to the content of this article.

A “Hot Topic Video” by Editor-in-Chief Rod J. Rohrich, M.D., accompanies this article. Go to and click on “Plastic Surgery Hot Topics” in the “Digital Media” tab to watch. On the iPad, tap on the Hot Topics icon.

Anureet K. Bajaj, M.D., Bajaj Plastic Surgery, 8106 North May Avenue, Suite B, Oklahoma City, Okla. 73120,

©2017American Society of Plastic Surgeons