上周二是同酬日（Equal Pay Day），这凸显了一个事实，2013年女性仍需付出更大的努力才能赚到2012年男性同事同样的薪酬。有关薪酬不平等的讨论都着重于政策和体制歧视，这很重要。但我感兴趣的是在哪些因素上我们个人能够有所作为。在Y世代（Gen-Y）女性网络社区Levo League上，我听过无数像我朋友这样的故事。我意识到：你不一定能得到你应该得到的，你得到的都是你所要求的。
女性为何克制自己不提涨工资？一个原因是她们感觉可能需要获得准许。另一个原因则是担心可能有违社会观念。一项“女性为什么不爱协商薪酬？”（Do Women Avoid Salary Negotiations?）的研究称，如果一条招聘信息注明“薪酬面议”，女性更可能进行薪酬协商，因为她们认为，这是预期当中应当做的事情。
A friend recently told me about a male colleague; he joined her company one month after she arrived. "He's asking for a $10,000 dollar raise tomorrow at our performance review," she griped. "I can't believe he's doing that. I just can't imagine asking for a raise after only being here for seven months."
Today is Equal Pay Day, which marks how far into 2013 a woman must work to earn the same pay that her male counterpart earned in 2012. Much of the discussion about pay inequity is focused on policy and institutional discrimination, which is important -- but I'm interested in what factors we as individuals might be able to do about it. After hearing countless stories, like my friend's, from women in the Levo League community, a network for ambitious Gen-Y women, I realize: You don't get what you deserve; you get what you ask for.
Women make around 90 percent of what their male counterparts make when they first join the workforce, but the gap grows dramatically as they age. I knew my male friends were four times more likely to negotiate their starting salaries than I was, but I still didn't ask for more when I began as an analyst at McKinsey after graduation.
I'm not the only one who isn't asking. When we surveyed the Levo League community, we found that approximately 75% did not negotiate starting salaries at their current roles. The result of not asking isn't pretty: Women lose out on half a million dollars by the time they are 60.
Why Gen Y Women Aren't Asking for More
There are countless excuses from women who didn't ask for more money: "Honestly, I felt so fortunate to be given a job after my internship and after sending countless resumes, I thought it was a fair enough starting salary." Or: "Instead of thinking a company is lucky to have me, I'm thinking I'm lucky to be at this company."
I rarely hear such responses from my male friends. "I ask for a raise every three months without fail," one told me. "The company should know how much more value I bring and that I expect to be compensated for it."
Why do women keep themselves from asking for a raise? One reason is a need for permission. Another is a fear of going against societal norms. The study "Do Women Avoid Salary Negotiations?" found that when a job description says "salary negotiable," women are more likely to negotiate their salary because they think it is expected that they should.
Sheryl Sandberg's book Lean In highlights the societal perceptions that hurt women's careers. As women rise through the ranks and become more powerful, they're less liked -- while their male friends become better liked. Being bossy doesn't always equate with female success.