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Self-important female Ph.D. said to be victim of sexism because she bungled her job offer

March 21, 2014

From my latest blog post for the Los Angeles Times:

If you’re a female and you feel inspired to negotiate for a higher salary and more perks because your “Lean In circle” says “You go, girl!,” it helps to actually know how to negotiate.

***

These may seem like home truths to anyone in the business world, or in any world where negotiating is an expected part of the scene. But not to a raft of feminist commentators who are outraged at the supposed plight of “W.,” a newly minted PhD in philosophy who decided to play tough-guy negotiator when Nazareth College, a liberal arts college near Rochester, N.Y., offered her a tenure-track teaching job, probably at the typical entry-level salary range for such positions at non-elite institutions: somewhere in the mid-to-high $50,000 range.

W.’s response to the offer was an emailed laundry list of demands that included a starting salary boost to $65,000 a year, a semester off of maternity leave, another semester off of “sabbatical” time so she could work on her scholarly research, and no more than three new class preparations per year for the first three years (even though the norm at many small liberal-arts colleges is for professors to teach eight classes a year). To top it off, W. wanted Nazareth to delay her start date to 2015 so she could complete a postdoc. “As you know, I am very enthusiastic about the possibility of coming to Nazareth,” W. wrote. “Granting some of the … provisions would make my decision easier.”

The response of Nazareth’s philosophy department was to politely tell W. to take a long walk off a short pier

Posted by Charlotte Allen

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