Geek Feminism Wiki

Women Don't Ask and Ask for It are two books on women and negotiation by Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever.

In Women Don't Ask Babcock and Laschever describe both various reasons why women are less likely to negotiate with employers, partners, colleagues and businesses than men are, including negative responses to appearances of assertiveness in women and women's tendency to believe that they will be rewarded fairly for hard work; and then show how not negotiating hurts women's salaries, careers and personal lives. In Ask for It they teach women negotiating skills.

The books are not focussed on geek women, but have been widely discussed and recommended in LinuxChix by Valerie Aurora. One factor that recommends them to geek women is their research grounding.


  • Jaymie Strecker's article The pseudo-science and pseudo-feminism of Women Don't Ask extensively criticises Women Don't Ask on both scientific and feminist grounds. Some of the criticism includes:
    • the authors' heavy reliance on Babcock's own research (often unpublished at the time of writing) as opposed to more mixed findings about women's propensity to negotiate (and its sometimes limited effectiveness) in the published literature
    • their lack of consideration for intersectionality issues
    • their reliance on anecdote to make some key points
    • their tendency to identify negotiation with certain limited scenarios and, for example, in the anecdote that gave the book its title, to discount even organised specific requests by women as "complaining"