Men do a lot things women don't that contribute to the persistent 20-30% wage gap.
Mad Men, that great reminder to the nation of life before feminism, perfectly illustrates our persistent failure to negotiate our true market value.
In that, not much has changed between Peggy Olson's 1967 job search and our own lateral moves today.
Simply put, we continue to accept unequal conditions in the workplace serving lesser clients for lower pay, fewer promotional opportunities and far less respect than our work product deserves. [More from Forbes: The most fair and unfair cities to be a working woman]
Peggy, who worked her way up from secretary to copywriter with the mentorship and sponsorship of the fatally handsome and deeply flawed Don Draper, learned a few things in last night's show that men in the workplace have known since they first gathered together to raid the next village.
While implementing her new knowledge, she understandably made the same mistakes women have been making for thousands of years.
We at She Negotiates are here to change all that.
Know When It's Time to Leave
Peggy's been putting up with marginalization at Sterling Cooper Draper Price her entire career. Still, she's doing better than 99.9% of 1967 women just to have a professional rather than a clerical job.
She owes much of it to Don Draper and she's loyal to him for that. But like too many women today, she doesn't give herself enough credit for her own success.
She's her own woman now, doing as well or better than her colleagues and Don continues to treat her as a second class citizen. [More from Forbes: 20 best paying cities for women]
Other people take credit for her work and she isn't assigned the plum jobs, often because "the client won't accept a girl on the team."
It wasn't a sexist move for Don to throw money in Peggy's face in a fit of temper last night. He's an equal opportunity jerk when he's under stress.
The difference is not in the treatment.
It's in the response to the treatment.
It doesn't occur to Peggy that's its time to leave her ad agency until she meets with a former colleague who, like Don, mentors and sponsors her.
Unlike Don, he doesn't have anything to lose by counseling Peggy to do the right thing by her career rather than the right thing by her [office] man.
He tells her to leave and Peggy's never been a slow learner.
Learn What You're Worth in the Open Market
When next we see Peggy, she's offering her valuable services to another ad agency.
The shock on her face to hear her work described in glowing terms tells us everything we need to know about her failure to adequately prepare for this lateral (or promotional) career move.
Peggy's work is so good there's buzz on Madison Avenue about her. So much buzz and such good work, that her new employer wants to nail her down immediately.
Had she picked up the telephone and asked "around town" what people of her caliber were making and what Sterling Draper competitors were saying about her work, she'd have asked for more. [More from Forbes: Top 20 countries for women]
We know that because of what happened next.
Confidently Ask for More than You Want
Peggy's potential new employer really wants her, but we don't know that until she's made the mistakes too many women continue to make today.
I know women choke at this point in a job interview because they tell me about it when I speak at women's events around the country. And because my consulting clients usually need me to give them a pre-interview parade with marching band and confetti to say their number with confidence.
Peggy's prospective employer asks her what she wants and she can't even say it. She pulls out a piece of paper, puts a job title and number on it and pushes it across the formica.
How do we know she asked for too little?
Because her bargaining partner doesn't just accept her number without negotiating, he raises it by $1,000 to keep her from learning how much more she could make if she interviewed with another ad agency.
If it wasn't clear to Peggy from his negotiating behavior, it was clear when he told her his offer was conditional on her immediate acceptance.
Boy! That felt good, right?
Sure it did.
But she now knows she can do better than she believed she could.
Now is not the time to let him put a ring on it.
Now's the time for her to shop herself around.
Which leads to the next lesson.
Don't Say "Yes" to their First Offer
Men negotiate. They do not accept first offers. They counter. If they're surprised, as Peggy was, they temporize.
Here's how to do that.
Let me think about it
I appreciate such a generous offer. This isn't an easy decision for me to make. Let me get back to you next week.
Counter, Counter, Counter
Peggy's been caught unaware and unprepared.
She's going to have to re-anchor because she started negotiating too low. Her prospective employer isn't being generous. He's trying to get a great talent for less than he believes she's worth. [More from Forbes: The 10 best jobs for women in 2012]
If he didn't think she could get more elsewhere, he wouldn't be asking her not to interview with anyone else.
Peggy should have temporized and started making phone calls to fix the problem she caused by not doing her homework. She needed to learn what her true market value was. Once she'd done that, she should have taken more meetings and gathered more offers.
A good negotiator would only then return to her first bargaining partner to tell him she aimed too low. She's been offered more by the competition and she'd still love to come and work at his shop but it's going to cost him more.
This time, she won't start too low. She's going to ask for more than her highest offer elsewhere because she already knows how much the first guy wants her.
Here's where women routinely choke.
"What if he says no?" they ask. "Won't I have blown my chance to get what I want?"
No. He wants you. They want you. They negotiate. They "get" the game. It doesn't offend them. It's how business is done. [More from Forbes: Seven steps to negotiating success]
If you meet a brick wall, don't let the conversation be shut down. Say I'm certain we can find a way to satisfy your needs and mine at the same time. Say there's a lot more value in this deal than salary alone and then talk about bonuses, promotional opportunities, flex-time (it's 2012, not 1967), and account assignments.
When someone who's negotiating with you says "no," they're just out of ideas. They were saying "yes" 30 seconds ago and they'll say "yes" a minute later if you give them reason to.
Know when it's time to move even if you feel grateful for early favors. If your career has reached a plateau, you likely know whether it's done so because you've started calling it in or you've hit a barrier.
Learn your true market value before you have your first lateral or promotional interview. You can do this online at sites like glass door.com, but you can also do it by picking up the telephone and asking a competitor who's at your level out for coffee.
If you're in a profession where you have a public reputation — attorney, copywriter, engineer, you name it — find out what your reputation is. If it's low at the moment, you might want to stay where you are for a little while longer to get it back up to top notch. If it's high, it's a perfect time to leave the place where they take you for granted.
Confidently ask for more than you want to give yourself bargaining room and to "anchor" the negotiation in your favor. A first offer (or a re-framed offer under new circumstances) sets the bargaining range and will influence the final number in your favor throughout the course of the negotiation.
Don't let "no" stop you.
Continue negotiating while at the same time letting your bargaining partner know you're optimistic about finding a way for both of you to get the highest value available out of each of you.