Does earning income empower women in patriarchal societies? We conducted two original experiments in Jordan investigating how patriarchal norms constrain the effects of relative earned income on women's bargaining power and women's preferences for paid employment opportunities. In the first experiment, we randomized women's relative earned income in a bargaining lab game involving male and female partners. Women with higher incomes than their partners behave more efficaciously than women with lower incomes. They are only more influential over bargaining outcomes, however, when paired with women, not men. We then employed a conjoint survey experiment using hypothetical job opportunities to assess how the prospect of higher incomes and working alongside men affect women's job preferences. Though higher wages make jobs more desirable, mixed‐sex work spaces are a strong deterrent. Together, these findings demonstrate that patriarchal norms constrain women's desire to engage in paid labor and segment the empowering effects of earning income.