Even Stars Feel the Gender Income Gap

Though I’m not one to often read tabloids, when a friend tagged me this morning on Jennifer Lawrence’s “Why Do I Make Less Than My Male Costars?”, my heart gave a little leap for joy. Finally! An Oscar-winning actress, a woman at “untouchable” levels is speaking about gender gap inequality. Most women have problems negotiating their salaries. The jaw dropping 78 cents for every dollar earned by men statistic includes all of us. Negotiating doesn’t come naturally to women, nor is it perceived as normal behavior. As Jennifer points out, she feared that she would have been perceived as “difficult” or “spoiled” by asking for more. The sad reality is that it’s not as socially acceptable to see women play hard ball. Men on the other hand are perceived as tough and “commended for being fierce and tactical.”

Ladies- it couldn’t be more clear– failing to negotiate is a problem that follows us from our first interview after college, through the dusk of our careers, and has repercussions all the way into retirement. Think of the cumulative impact of not negotiating your first salary will have on your retirement…

You don’t have to come across as a unlikeable, difficult or spoiled to negotiate your salary. It takes you knowing your worth and knowing how to ask for it.

I know in this letter, Jennifer thinks she’s the only one having this issue. But little does she know that she is echoing the same issue working women all over the world are dealing with -and not talking about-. Thank you Jennifer for sharing this issue!

Kathleen Barretto