Entertainment Celebrity J-Law’s fierce essay highlights best way to tackle pay gap
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J-Law’s fierce essay highlights best way to tackle pay gap

Jennifer Lawrence
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American Hustle star Jennifer Lawrence says seeing her male co-star’s wages leaked online helped her to stop caring what people think – and start negotiating harder.

In an essay written for fellow Hollywood pal Lena Dunham’s online magazine, Lawrence finally dished on how it felt to see that her male American Hustle co-stars received a nine per cent royalty while Amy Adams and herself each received seven per cent.

“When the Sony hack happened and I found out how much less I was being paid than the lucky people with d***s, I didn’t get mad at Sony,” wrote Lawrence.

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“I got mad at myself. I failed as a negotiator because I gave up early.”

Lawrence praised her co-star Bradley Cooper for his negotiating skills. Photo: Getty
Lawrence praised her co-star Bradley Cooper for his negotiating skills. Photo: Getty

“I didn’t want to seem ‘difficult’ or ‘spoiled’.”

Lawrence said seeing the disparate numbers leaked all over the internet helped her to see where the gender pay gap really begins, and how it can be changed.

“I’m over trying to find the ‘adorable’ way to state my opinion and still be likeable! F*** that.”

Transparency could be one of the easiest and most effective ways to tackle the gender pay gap.

In the USA last month, the Securities and Exchange Commission passed a rule forcing companies to expose the pay gap between CEOs and workers.

It’s an effective move – cheap to administer and likely to embarrass the over-indulged and fire up the under-paid.

The gender pay gap hit an all time high in Australia earlier this year. Photo: Shutterstock
The gender pay gap hit an all time high in Australia earlier this year. Photo: Shutterstock

In February this year, the gap hit a record high of 18.8 per cent according to the ABS, prompting calls for action.

The gap was most pronounced in Western Australia, sitting at 26 per cent, while it was lowest in South Australia at 10.8 per cent.

This month, the WGEA reported a 17 per cent rise in the number of companies that conducted pay gap analyses, and 51 per cent of those companies took action as a result.

Of course, there are many contributing factors to our wage gap, including the industries women choose to work in compared to men, the lack of women in senior positions and a less permanent attachment to the workforce due to childbirth.

But another prevalent problem is the reluctance for women to push for a pay rise; to negotiate their way into a man’s salary.

The problem could be tackled by making the wage gap transparent and ensuring women who are worse off are well aware of it.


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