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Ellen Pao: Reddit has Stopped Negotiating Initial Salaries

by Kelly Browe Olson
April 2015

Indisputably

Kelly Browe Olson

The Wall Street Journal ran an interview with Ellen Pao yesterday. She discusses many things, but her quote regarding salary negotiations really hit a nerve:

“Men negotiate harder than women do and sometimes women get penalized when they do negotiate. So as part of our recruiting process we don’t negotiate with candidates. We come up with an offer that we think is fair. If you want more equity, we’ll let you swap a little bit of your cash salary for equity, but we aren’t going to reward people who are better negotiators with more compensation.”

It sounds like, from her quote, that Ms. Pao wants to stop rewarding better negotiators in the hiring process (typically men, in her estimation), to help women and other poor negotiators. I know many women that enjoy negotiating and might find this patronizing and wrong, while others have anecdotal stories of problematic negotiations. There are also studies that show a lack of gender differences in negotiation outcomes. I also wonder about the impact on the hiring process in general at Reddit.

What do you think? Is this helpful to women and poor negotiators? Is this really not negotiating with candidates or simply moving the negotiation from salary to other compensation?

The entire article focuses on much more than negotiation. It is an interesting look at how Ms. Pao views the Reddit culture and the changes that they are making to the company.

Biography


Professor Olson is the Director of Clinical Programs and an Associate Professor of Law. She oversees the mediation, litigation, tax and consumer protection clinics, and state-wide Special Education and Dependency/Neglect mediation projects . In addition to teaching the Mediation Clinic, she has also taught Family Law, Mediation Seminars, ADR, and Domestic Violence courses. She helped create the U.A.L.R. Graduate Certificate Program in Conflict Mediation. She is a passionate advocate who focuses on educating law students, judges, lawyers, and other professionals on conflict resolution and communication.



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Website: ualr.edu/law/faculty/kelly-browe-olson/

Additional articles by Kelly Browe Olson

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