Jennifer Lawrence is known for being a badass, whether she’s on the big screen fighting a dystopian civil war or railing against body shaming to Barbara Walters. Cripes, she’s won an Oscar and been nominated for two more, PLUS she’s the lead in a billion–dollar grossing movie trilogy (and a half) and she just turned 25! With a no-nonsense head on her shoulders, she’s made waves a few times in Hollywood for speaking her mind, but she hasn’t spoken out about the gender pay gap, until now.
(Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr)
Yesterday, Lawrence said it all in the Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner feminist newsletter Lenny (as well as on her Facebook page). Seems there’s been a lot on her mind in the year since the Sony hack (and subsequent Hollywood star salary leak) back in November of 2014. She wrote about how even though her experiences weren’t “relatable” (seriously, most of us don’t have to negotiate a movie trilogy salary) she still felt that they were important to talk about.
“When the Sony hack happened and I found out how much less I was being paid than the lucky people with d****, I didn’t get mad at Sony. I got mad at myself. I failed as a negotiator because I gave up early.”
Rule #1: Don’t Worry About Being Nice
Lawrence didn’t feel that she paid herself the attention she was due. Why? On some level, she suspects it was because she wanted to be liked above all other things. She wanted to not make negative waves for herself.
“I didn’t want to seem ‘difficult’ or ‘spoiled.’ At the time, that seemed like a fine idea, until I saw the payroll on the Internet and realized every man I was working with definitely didn’t worry about being ‘difficult’ or ‘spoiled.'”
Girl, you’re just giving away your power with that kind of thinking.
Rule #2: It’s Not Personal, It’s Your Gender
Ultimately Lawrence thinks her demureness at salary negotiations possibly could be a result of being young, or perhaps about her gender and the conditioning women and men get from birth.
“Could there still be a lingering habit of trying to express our opinions in a certain way that doesn’t ‘offend’ or ‘scare’ men?” she asked. Short answer: yes.
In fact, you can do your gender pay gap research without any hacking involved! Check out PayScale’s Gender and Pay at Work data, which compares salaries of men and women at specific jobs and shows that women still earn less than men – although not necessarily as much less as you might fear. It turns out, at least some of the pay gap is due to women opting into lower-paying jobs that give back to the world. More conditioning, perhaps?
Rule #3: Do Your Homework Before You Negotiate
When you’re ready to step up to the negotiation table, whether you’re JLaw or just an awesome woman in the non-Hollywood workforce, we hope you’ll take a look at PayScale’s Salary Negotiating Guide to get the paycheck you deserve. It’s broken down into digestible chunks based on your goals: Research, Strategize, and Negotiate.
Tell Us What You Think
Do you have ideas for closing the gender wage gap? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.