Women make roughly 80% of what a man makes after the first year on a job, according to new data from the American Association of University Women.

So is this a big discrimination story? It could be. But I think it points to another explanation, and that is that women are generally lousy negotiators asking for pay!

This has become a big issue for Kate White, the longtime editor of Cosmopolitan. She's really focused on the idea that women have to learn to be the squeaky wheel.

As it stands now, most women when offered pay at a job just say, "OK." Men, however, are more likely to negotiate that opening pay.

There's nothing rude or improper about treating the offer of a salary at a job as a negotiation. That is first nature for a guy. It needs to become more natural for young women too.

If you are a mom or dad of a daughter who is a new college graduate, give her a pep talk about negotiating.

Remember, if an employer wants you for a job, you have the upper hand to negotiate. Of course, not every employer will budge on compensation. But if you don't ask, you don't get.

Image of Clark Howard About the author: Clark Howard

Clark Howard is a consumer expert whose goal is to help you keep more of the money you make. His national radio show and website show you ways to save more, spend less and avoid getting ripped off. View More Articles

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