Gentlemen, I would like to ask you to leave the room for a moment. Move along, now. Yes, you too, over there in the corner, I see you!
Okay. Ladies: Do you have trouble asking for more money when you're offered wages, salaries, speakers' fees, or any other financial negotiations?
It's a well-established fact that women are far less likely than men to negotiate for more money. Women Don't Ask was the title of an excellent book exploring the topic. Yes, that's partly because women are more likely to be socialized that we'll be punished for being aggressive in a way that men aren't. But we can still find ways to do it that are effective and natural. There are some great books on the subject. Go to your library or bookstore and find the one that works for you.
This isn't the only reason for the yawning gender wage gap. There's sexual harassment (Herman Cain!), occupational segregation, bias against mothers, and other contributors. But this one matters. Teach yourself, your friends, your daughters, your students to ask for more—every time.
Okay, tell the men that they can come back in now.