Women & negotiation in the work place

I am CEO of BeecherMadden, a niche recruitment business with offices in London and New York. I also speak often on women in cyber security, where we are under-represented.

Women need to take the emotion out of negotiating. Negotiating isn’t just working with a client, or supplier, but will happen in everyday interactions. If you put an idea forward at work, and get some push-back, this is negotiation in the workplace. Instead of taking it personally, or questioning your own ideas, you need to approach these conversations as a negotiation. Women are discouraged from this often. Even as the owner of BeecherMadden, I am regularly challenged on my strategy or growth, by my team, suppliers and advisors. In the past, I have held back, only to see that my plan would have worked and avoided a difficult situation that then arose. We are encouraged to be likeable, rather than tough, and criticised heavily if we are seen as too hard or forthright.

Women need to be prepared to ignore the negativity that can be put on us, when pushing our own ideas and plans. By having good reasons behind your plans and being prepared to put these forward when you are challenged, you will find that you move your career and/or business forward quicker. If you can take the emotion out of it and focus on results, rather than being liked, you will be more successful.

My sponsors have often been those who have challenged me, rather than supported me regardless. Healthy challenge is good for your own development and can help you prepare ahead of an important negotiation or meeting. If your sponsor can add ideas on how you can present this better, that is what you should look for. A sponsor is not there just to back you up or push things through for you.

For jobs in cyber, visit BeecherMadden’s website.