Jennifer Lawrence Speaks Out About Gender Pay Inequality

Jennifer Lawrence Speaks Out About Gender Pay Inequality

The actress Jennifer Lawrence spoke out against gender pay inequality in an essay on Tuesday, describing how she felt when leaked documents exposed by the Sony Pictures hack showed that she had been paid less than her male colleagues on the film “American Hustle.”

In the essay, published in Lena Dunham’s newsletter Lenny, Ms. Lawrence acknowledged that her experience was not exactly relatable — she is the world’s highest-paid actress, according to Forbes — but said that her decision to do nothing was at odds with negotiating tactics used by her male colleagues.

“When the Sony hack happened,” she wrote, “I didn’t get mad at Sony. I got mad at myself. I failed as a negotiator because I gave up early.

“Jeremy Renner, Christian Bale, and Bradley Cooper all fought and succeeded in negotiating powerful deals for themselves,” she wrote of her co-stars. “If anything, I’m sure they were commended for being fierce and tactical, while I was busy worrying about coming across as a brat and not getting my fair share.”

Lenny has been in publication for only a couple of weeks, but it has already recruited some of the most visible women in politics and entertainment to grapple with issues related to feminism, sexuality and sexism.

Women in the United States make 78 cents for every dollar a man makes. The ratio of women’s to men’s median weekly full-time earnings is 82.5 percent. (That ratio, when compared with white men, is lower for black women, and lower still for Hispanic women.) And it doesn’t matter if a woman eventually makes it to a C-Suite office (or, in Ms. Lawrence’s case, the Oscar suite) — the wage gap persists at every level of the career ladder.

Much of the literature centered on helping women close this gap places the burden squarely on a woman to improve her skills as a negotiator. Tips for women that were published in The New York Times last year suggest that women role-play with a friend, and advise women to communicate in a way that puts the needs of the organization ahead of their own.

This sort of behavior “helps women in the likability department. And that’s important,” that article advised.

Ms. Lawrence touched on this double standard in her essay:

“I’m over trying to find the ‘adorable’ way to state my opinion and still be likable!”

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Article By: Katie Rogers, visit: www.NYTimes.com