Are Women Naturally More Trustworthy Than Men?

When it comes to making deals, I think women have an edge.  A friend of mine has a vacation property up in Lake Tahoe and he says he let’s his wife do all the marketing, negotiating, and selling.  Peter marketed their place for the first 12 months to mixed results.  Some months were very strong, and others not so much for what normal rent should be during various times of the year.  Peter said he averaged around $1,800 a month.

Enter Julia, Peter’s wife who just rocks Peter’s world.  After 12 months, Julia averaged a healthy $2,500 or a 39% per month increase in rental income over Peter’s best efforts.  As Peter and I discussed more about Julia’s all-star sales abilities, we came to the conclusion that women are naturally more trustworthy than men.

WHY WOMEN ARE BETTER AT NEGOTIATING & SELLING

  • Honestly. When was the last time you heard of a female politician or business person get charged with corruption, theft, or racketeering?  It’s always men.  From Elliot Spitzer to Bernie Madoff, men dominate dishonesty.
  • Patience. Women seem more patient than men.  It’s generally the man who starts huffing and complaining when the airport security line is too long.  I know I have my moments and pray for patience almost every single week.  Women just seem to tolerate a slower pace better than men.
  • Mother figure. We are taught not to disrespect our parents and love our mothers.  Of course we trust and cherish our mothers.  As a result, perhaps there is an unconscious connection that all women remind us of our mothers and can be trusted.
  • Less Threatening. Women aren’t as physically imposing as men, and therefore have a lower physical threat factor.  Men, on the other hand regularly grow to massive sizes and represent practically all of the world’s serial killers, rapists, and steroidal maniacs.
  • Gift of Gab. Women have superior jaw and breathing muscles.  How else does one explain women consistently talking on their cell phones on my bus ride to and from work, where men are generally always peacefully silent?  What else explains the reason why husbands come home and like to relax in front of the TV and read, while wives tend to want to talk about their day?  With the ability to speak constantly, women have a better chance to close deals.

CONCLUSION

The next time you plan on negotiating, consider having a female work on your behalf.  It’s worked for Peter by the tune of an extra $700 a month.  Just be careful not to work her too hard, or you’ll never hear the end of it!

Readers, do you think women are more trustworthy than men?  If so, what other attributes or things do women have that make them better?  Can you name any corrupt women in business & politics in under 30 seconds?  Why is it always a woman who talks non-stop on their mobile phones during my bus ride to and from work?

Will I be able to say “no” to Meredith, the personal trainer?  Guess now before the upcoming follow up post!

Regards,

Sam

Sam started Financial Samurai in 2009 during the depths of the financial crisis as a way to make sense of chaos. After 13 years working on Wall Street, Sam decided to retire in 2012 to utilize everything he learned in business school to focus on online entrepreneurship.

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Comments

  1. Money Beagle says

    The only problem with that is that my wife is terrified of negotiating and won’t do it. So, while they might yield better results when trying to negotiate, they have to actually be willing to actually go through with it. :)

    • says

      Isn’t it strange someone could be “terrified” of negotiating? The worst someone can say is “no.”

      You are absolutely right though, and perhaps men like to negotiate more than women i.e. car dealerships.

  2. Kevin says

    I’m going to agree with Money Beagle. I would say also that it’s harder to say no to a woman, maybe it’s just me.

    But anyway, I can’t name a corrupt woman politician but I did see on American Greed about 2 older women that took out life insurance policies on homeless people and then killed them to collect the insurance money. Does that count?

  3. says

    True but when hiring women the employer should keep in mind about her pregnancy, future or present, so that makes things a little bit more complicated overall. I think this is one big reason why women are are far less present in industries worldwide.

  4. says

    I love negotiating and have zero problem with it. I negotiate way more than my husband does.

    Regarding the success of women negotiators, I think a lot depends on the type of man you are dealing with. Many are still sexist and generally just disregard women. You gotta know your audience!

  5. says

    This is an interesting topic, and one that I have never really given much thought to but now that you’ve brought it to my attention it seems I do have an opinion on it afterall…

    One thing I find a bit weird is the ‘mother figure’ point. Sorry, but I don’t want to think that every man I come in contact with is subconsciously thinking I’m like his mother! YUK! I think you’re using ‘fuzzy logic’ here and I actually find that a bit disrespectful.

    Afterall, perhaps Julia is making more money than Peter simply because she’s better at it. Maybe it has nothing to do with gender, but everything to do with skill, knowledge and brilliance? Just a thought.

    Just a thought from a woman…

  6. says

    Sorry to be a chauvinist pig, but is she hot? A good looking woman with negotiation skill is an unstoppable force, IMO.
    I like that back handed compliment about the gift of gab. It’s mostly women I hear on the cell phone on my ride too. That’s why I got one of those over ear noise reduction head phone.

  7. says

    In my family I, the man, am the primary negotiator but I definitely agree with you about the qualities that women possess that allow them to negotiate well. I find that women have a natural power of persuasion that men just don’t have and they also often lack a certain amount of shame that let’s them negotiate when a man would be embarrassed to do so. I have to fight this shame tendency in myself all the time to be able to negotiate well.

  8. says

    This is not true all the time. Well, it is true that women are less threatening and might be more trustworthy than men. But it is all in the culture why we think that way. American movies, for example, main villains are always men. Villain’s minions are men also. So people grew up thinking that men are threatening than women.

  9. Mike Hunt says

    I don’t think men have the monopoly on corruption or bad dealings. How about ex- Philippine president Marcos or even Martha Stewart?

    I don’t like people (regardless of gender) who talk non stop on their mobile in a public place, unless they cover their mouth with their hand and speak quietly. Get some manners for Pete’s sake!

    -Mike

  10. says

    Great post Sam. I would have to say I agree with you…women are better at negotiating. I hate to go along a with a stereotype but when I think about it, it’s true. I am often more patient then my husband and can express what I want better. I am also great at networking and building relationships on the spot which in turn helps with deals after. I think women are more sociable in general and this is what helps them negotiate better.

    • says

      Stereotypes exist for a reason. My friend and I thought about this carefully, and we really do believe, with the empirical evidence of $700 more a month to back it up, that women are more trustworthy and better negotiators if they are willing to do so!

  11. says

    I think you are overlooking the obvious, a beautiful woman is better at negotiating with men. This is true in sales too. The other attributes are true. I would add a few more, women generally are more detail oriented, they tend to listen better and in many instances are trying to prove something. These additional attributes help them negotiate more successfully with men. Whether women are more or less trustworthy, I think it is a individual situation. Regarding women and phones, they are more social versus males who are problem solvers.

    As far as Meredith, you won’t say no, because she will break you in two! Seriously, you won’t say no, because what I said above. Why would you, you are paying for her expertise and services?

    • says

      I didn’t overlook attraction b/c the renters have no way of seeing what my husband’s wife looks like over email and telephone. Attention to detail is definitely a great attribute that some men lack.

      Meredith ain’t the woman in the picture!

  12. says

    My hubby works for a pharma company and when I suggested that he try to get into the sales part of it, he said that if he were an attractive female, it would be easier. I guess their reasoning is an attractive female talking to a male doctor will get more sales. It probably works well with female docs too, since they can build a good relationship without it being awkward.

  13. says

    not sure it is the trust factor, but the softer, more delicate and tender side certainly makes me succumb at times, but not to an extent where i am loosing my shirt. i certainly maintain boundaries around how much more (extra) i give away because of the “tenderness” factor.

  14. Charlie says

    Ha you make some great points. I could see trusting women more than men at times. Women tend to be more emotional though which can make giving them constructive criticism difficult if you’re working them in a manager/staff relationship. I’ve had several women start crying on me when I was giving them performance reviews and it just creates an awkward situation. So negotiating isn’t the best suited for super sensitive women who are only used to warm and fuzzy feedback.

  15. says

    Great question, Sam. Love your site, BTW. Big fan.

    Down to business. As a female exec and business owner, I personally love the process of negotiating, but it is my experience that this sentiment is not shared by most women. I think the personality type who really loves negotiating is a minority among both sexes.

    However, in the context of this particular scenerio, and a likely reason why a woman has the upper hand in negotiating is likely due to intuition. Studies have shown that women and better listeners than men and tend to have more empathy (sensitivity | intuition | perceiving ability) and one critical element of negotiating is hearing or sensing where the other party is, and responding (or not) accordingly. So, if a house rental inquiry comes in (assuming the list price is not already stated or listed), the first tone that is picked up from the prospective renters statement on the phone or wording of an email message is likely going to tell the woman where’s she’s starting with the rate. Then, as the conversation or negotiation continues, a woman is (probably) more likely to perceive how the other party is intaking and responding or convincing accordingly. She can hear when they’re about to take the bait, or back off a bit and reel them in from a different (or more economical) angle if she feels them walking away.

    Men probably have the upper hand in confidence and forthrightness, but the bull in a china shop doesn’t always get it done.

    That’s my two cents.

    • says

      Hi Laurie, thanks for stopping by! Intuition… I can buy that. There is no saying of “A man’s intuition” only a “woman’s intuition” so there must be something to it. Good points!

  16. says

    Sam, I’m going to have to respectfully disagree with you. I think the person and their style and competencies have more to do with negotiating abilities than gender. There are men and women who are afraid of negotiating. There are dishonest and sleazy men and women. Although I am a superior negotiator :), I wouldn’t say most women fall into that class. Only an empirical study can answer who is a better negotiator, a man or a woman!

    • says

      I think you are right, but it is a woman’s style and competencies that seem to provide for better negotiations due to their trustworthiness, intuition, and detail orientation as commenters have pointed out.

  17. says

    Hey Sam!

    Being a man, my initial instincts tells me “No way!”. But another side of me says “keep an open mind.”

    Being trustworthy doesn’t have anything to do with your gender whether you’re a man or a woman. Well, at least I’d like to think that way.

    I do agree that women do a great job in selling. My guess is that they are thought to be more caring…being a motherly figure. Or at least non-threatening like you mentioned. Or may be because they pay a lot of attention to details and do a better job relating to the customer.

    Besides, I am quite surprised a lot of women (at least in my office) are now in leadership positions. I guess they do also do a better job handling stress as well?

    • says

      Not sure about handling job stress well as Charlie above points out that two of his/her female subordinates have cried in from of him/her!

      I stand by my thesis that women seem more trustworthy than men, whether that is true or false, it’s debatable for each individual case.

  18. says

    I would agree with everything on the list but honesty. I know some very honest women and some shady characters as well. I think that men as a whole are worst at getting away with being dishonest. I think women can hide it better.

  19. says

    In the professional procurement world, I don’t think that women have any particular negotiation edge over men. I’ve seen both good and bad negotiators of either gender. Then again, I work in a male-dominated industry, so maybe my anecdotal observations are skewed.

  20. says

    Okay, I definitely have to chime in now… There are just too many things in the comments above that I can’t ignore and that I need to give my opinion on.
    @Retirebyforty: “A good looking woman with negotiation skills is an unstoppable force, IMO.” True, I’ll agree with that. Physical appearance can be an important factor. But with that being said, A GOOD LOOKING MAN with negotiation skills is just as unstoppable a force. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been stopped-dead-in-my-tracks by a hot guy trying to sell me something. I even bought a lottery ticket(!) once from a hot guy behind the counter – and I NEVER buy lottery tickets.

    @Get Happy Life: “when hiring women the employer should keep in mind about her pregnancy, future or present…” This is an extremely sexist remark and sends a high pitched chalk-on-blackboard-noise through my ears. I think many young women (if not ALL young women) in the work force are very aware of the pregnancy thing, and that it no doubt very well can damage our careers. Yes, we know this… But in truth it really is a rather sad and regrettable thing, that you have women like myself who are forced to CHOOSE

  21. says

    (cont.) to CHOOSE between having A CHILD and having A CAREER. There is already a great wave of highly educated, ambitious young women who simply CHOOSE NOT TO HAVE ANY CHILDREN. Because they’re not interested in it and would rather pursue a career. As you can hear, I fall in that category, since I feel that my career gives me my MEANING IN LIFE as opposed to just having a truckload of babies. Now a lot of you will disagree, and by all means, feel free to do so, I don’t care, hehe. ; )

    So getting back to @Get Happy Life’s comment, to say that: “when hiring women the employer should keep in mind about her pregnancy, future or present…” – what does that mean, THAT THE EMPLOYER SHOULDN’T HIRE WOMEN WHO ARE IN THEIR “CHILDBEARING AGE”? SHOULD THEY HIRE US AFTER MENOPAUSE THEN? What’s his point? Shouldn’t women work at all? What is this, the stone age? That comment by ‘Get Happy Life’ deeply provoked me, and that’s why I needed to get this out.

    Okay, taking a deep breath now and moving on.

    Amelia & Retireby40 both seem to acknowledge that there’s a certain amount of skill involved as well. Amelia: “Afterall, perhaps Julia is making more money than Peter simply because she’s better at it. Maybe it has nothing to do with gender, but everything to do with skill, knowledge and brilliance? Just a thought.” & also Retireby40’s previous comment above.
    Yes, I like to think that there are in truth some women out there who are good at their jobs and extremely intelligent. ; )

    “You know, times are changing. Ladies can do stuff now and you’re going to learn how to deal with it.” – Anchorman (I’m in the film industry, I’m allowed to quote a movie or two. ; )

    Thanks for this great post, Sam! : ) I utterly enjoy the positive view you have on us women in your blog posts, it’s often highly controversial (not to me, I enjoy it ; ) but also extremely progressive. I take my hat off to you. ; ) Looking forward to the next read! : )

  22. says

    I think people are more used to being scammed and taken for a ride by men over women. How many female car salespeople do you know? When I go in a dealership, it’s all guys – and they’re generally looking to take advantage of you based on race, gender, lack of information, etc. That’s not to say there aren’t plenty of female scammers, but I think the perception is that women are more trustworthy, hence her results!

    And looks matter in all industries. When’s the last time you saw a mordibly obese pharmaceutical sales rep? They’re generally young, fit, hot, and more female than male.

  23. says

    I don’t think that men are less trustworthy than women, but it may very well be that women are naturally more social than men? If we’re going back to the cell-phone thing again… ;)

  24. Deep think says

    I predict in the very near future men are going to be unemployable. Why? Because as more women become the heads of households they are becoming the decission makers. As more and more women become trades men companies are going to hire women instead of men because women decission makers when calling for a plumber or electrican or a carpenter are going to request a female because the female decission maker regards females as more trust worthy. Therefor business performing such services can’t take the risk of loosing potential customers because they don’t have enough female tradesmen. Hence men will lagely become unemployable.

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