Ask. Get. Repeat.

Closing the Pay Gap — Quickly

By McCall Jones — Founder & CEO, Institute for Adult Communication

The Institute for Adult Communication looks at ways to improve individual and organizational communication to produce more effectiveness and more satisfaction. This matters at home and in the office.

One of the areas we have put a great deal of attention is the wage gap here in the United States. As many of you may know its a hot topic right now as well as a topic that deserve a national discussion and needs a powerful solution. In our research we have found that the arguments split into two possibilities for the cause with each side offering it own solution.

Some say that women are in general paid less than men because there is a widespread effort on the part of men to simply pay women less because they are women. Their solution is to legislate fair pay. This most recent effort culminated in the drafting of the “Paycheck Fairness Act” and recently rejected by congress.

Meanwhile, other people say that the difference in pay can be explained in the fact that, overall, women do not ask for more money when they are offered employment. They do not ask for more on their first job or at any point throughout their careers. The proposed solution here: teach women to negotiate.

We have been researching both of these points of view very closely for almost a decade. We have observed that inside this dilemma is real suffering, real pain and real desperation. But for the most part we have not seen any truly effective solutions be presented.

The “pass a law” solution? It’s already been done. It was passed in 1963 and signed into law by John F. Kennedy. The short story is: It hasn’t worked.

On the other hand: Teaching women negotiation skills? Well, the reality is women are already great negotiators. But most training programs demand they stop being women and act like men when they are negotiating. That’s like asking someone to drive to with their eyes closed.

We have however discovered a method that has not only shown promise but has demonstrated very powerful results: a program specially designed for women that respects and embraces feminine values to empower natural skills and instincts in negotiations.

A tool we developed that is a central facet to our negotiation training for women begins with the Super Ask.

The Super Ask is an easy to follow six step process designed to have your requests be taken more seriously and raise the odds that you will get what you are asking for or produce credible alternatives.

  1. Articulate your need.
  2. Articulate what having that need fulfilled will provide you.
  3. Prepare your request (This may be inclusive of research and presentations).
  4. Make your request.
  5. Receive the response.
  6. Assess whether or not your need was indeed fulfilled.

The women who ask for what they want and need are receiving pay that exceeds that of men and are leading larger, more fulfilled lives. These women are also the exception.

What is the norm as we have seen, as has Harvard University, Sheryl Sandburg, Michelle Patterson (Executive Director of the California Women’s Conference) and many others have also seen, is that women as a group do not ask for what they want and need. Not at the office, not at home, not in their relationships. By and large, men know to ask. But women, on the other hand use a different rationale and its hurting them deeply; hurting them financially, emotionally, and ultimately impacting their health and well being.

Its time to take action and make a difference. We are not merely offering a training program, we want to start a national conversation. We want to close the pay gap and open lives.



To find out more, visit us at

One clap, two clap, three clap, forty?

By clapping more or less, you can signal to us which stories really stand out.