Ask and ye shall receive.
The reality of asking for a raise isn’t as straightforward as all those lunchtime pep talks from the gals who tell you it will be. There’s the awkward “Can we have a chat?” pre-conversation with your manager and then the listing out of reasons why you’re awesome – a difficult task for any Irish person. However, in a world where the pay gap isn’t going to go away by itself, women owe it to themselves to ask for more. Lean in, and leave with a healthier bank balance. If it doesn’t work out, at least your boss knows you have some self-worth and might return to the idea in the future. And then there’s the other side of the argument. Why do you have to shout out your accomplishments? Shouldn’t you be automatically rewarded for doing a good job?
It’s a universal issue, so much so that even actress, and Ireland’s number one girl crush, Jennifer Lawrence has had to contend with the issue.
The Sony hack a few weeks ago revealed a lot about the movie studio. ‘Jokes’ were made about President Obama enjoying 12 Years a Slave, Angelina Jolie was called a brat, and George Clooney turned out to be quite a gentleman and apologised for The Monuments Men failure at the box office. Amy Pascal, co-chairperson of Sony Pictures Entertainment and one of the highest-ranking women in Hollywood, lost her job over the issue.
However, the one piece of information that seemed to catch every woman’s indignant attention was the pay disparity between Jennifer Lawrence and her co-stars. The Oscar-winning actress, who heads up the massively successful Hunger Games franchise, was paid significantly less than her American Hustle co-stars Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner and Christian Bale. Lawrence was nominated for an Academy Award for her role.
This week Pascal talked about the issue of Lawrence’s pay with Tina Brown at the Women in the World conference. It was her first interaction with the press since her firing. Pascal wasn’t exactly apologetic about the situation, and said that the pay gap should be tackled with gutsy behaviour. She said, “The truth is, what women have to do is not work for less money,” she said. “They have to walk away. People shouldn’t be so grateful for jobs … people should know what they’re worth.” She was basically saying that J Law needed to demand a better pay packet and channel her inner Katniss Everdeen, the kickass leading lady-slash-archer in the Hunger Games movies. Pascal did push the point that she paid Lawrence “a lot more money since then, I promise you.”
While all this #GirlBoss talk is encouraging, we think that as the female head of a studio, Pascal should have been helping the sisterhood out a little bit more.
Remember that Madeleine Albright quote? “There is a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.”
Follow Jeanne Sutton on Twitter @jeannedesutun
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