On Good Morning America today, Academy Award winner and megastar Jennifer Lawrence discussed the moment she found out she was paid less than her male costars on the film American Hustle (salaries were publicly released through the Sony hack in November 2014). On Lena Dunham’s website www.lennyletter.com, Lawrence expressed her frustration not with those who hired her and paid her less than the male costars but with herself, saying,
“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.’”
According to the United States Census Bureau the average woman earns approximately $400K less than a man over the course of her lifetime. While this is just plain-old unfair, here are 5 more reasons for all of us to pursue equal pay in the workplace:
- Ladies live longer. Older adult women need that extra $400K so they can live more comfortably in their older adult years.
- Females are the caregivers. Nearly 70% of all caregivers are females, many Baby Boomer and older. Many of these older adult women are financially helping out with the older loved ones they are caring for.
- 2/3 of patients with Alzheimer’s disease are older adult women. The cost of taking care of persons with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias puts untold pressure on the Medicaid system.
- Older adult women are living in poverty more than men. According to the National Council on Aging, “Over 23 million Americans aged 60+ are economically insecure—living at or below 250% of the federal poverty level.” Most of these economically insecure Americans are older adult women.
- Females step out of the workforce more frequently. Because older adult women may have taken time off to raise children or serve as a caregiver, their earnings have suffered even more.
Wherever a woman is in her lifespan and career, it’s crucial to consider this data. If more women negotiated better pay, less women would worry about being “difficult” or “spoiled” as Lawrence suggested. Wanting to retire comfortably, put less burden on the Medicaid system, and take care of your kids and older parents is not being about being “spoiled.” It’s about taking good care of yourself, your family and even your country.
To read Jennifer Lawrence’s full essay click here: http://www.lennyletter.com/work/a147/jennifer-lawrence-why-do-i-make-less-than-my-male-costars/upset