Are You Too Nice to Earn the Big Bucks?

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Tue, Jul 14 - 9:37 am EDT | 5 years ago by
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800px-happy_face_ballWe’ve all heard the rants about how assertive women in the workplace (especially if they are “the boss”) are often referred to in a rather derogatory way, whilst men who display the same behavior are admired. But, apparently, being a b**** in the workplace pays off. The Daily Mail reports that a new study at the Institute for Employment Research in Nuremberg, Germany, finds that nice women are paid 4% less than their more assertive female counterparts:

Some 5,603 men and women aged 20 to 60 were asked to take a psychometric test called the Five Factor Personality Inventory, which highlighted five basic personality traits – openness to experience, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness and neuroticism.

It found that alpha females earned on average 4 per cent more than their quieter coworkers – or £40,000 over a lifetime based on a 40-year career with an annual wage of £25,000.

The study found that for men, agreeableness does result in a slight dip in pay, but nothing like the disparity that women see for being more agreeable. The study’s authors chalk it up to the fact that agreeable people stink at salary negotiations, and may not be assertive in getting higher wages upon being hired, and in getting raises later on. For women, this is exacerbated by social traditions that make them “more passive and likeable at work” — and their desire not to rock the boat by asking for more money.

It’s an interesting thought. However, I doubt that one needs to be more than assertive and confident — no matter your gender — to get paid a little more (well, once this recession ends). In order to get a raise, it is important to show that you are willing to work hard, do quality work and to know what you want.

What do you think? Are nice people less likely to earn more?

Image source: Jersyko via Wikimedia Commons

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  • Khoo, Christie

    I have been a business woman and have been successful in building a sales team from scratch with zero base. I have also encounter total failure from this crisis. However, I am thankful that the full cycle from building, performing, achieving maximum performance to falling and losing the entire team was a learning curve for me. All I can say is I will never have a regret because I have learn a good lesson and never to made the same mistake again.

    Today, I have learn to spent time reflecting, journalizing to reconfirming my growth plan for the new team is on track. From this experience, I have also learn on how to cultivate habits that will help me become successful again.

    I have a total recall of a total comparison between the “success” and “failure” pattern.

    To be nice, set a good hard working role model and yet maintain the assertiveness. Not easy but worthwhile experience!

  • http://www.financiallysmartonline.com FinanciallySmartServices

    Persons should get paid according to their dedication and efficiency towards their work.

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  • Miranda Marquit

    I agree, but that is not really the way things work all the time.

  • Miranda Marquit

    Thanks for sharing your experience, Christie! Mistakes can help us grow. And you are right: It is possible to be nice and assertive at the same time :)