In case you missed the entertainment news this week, Bradley Cooper became the off-screen hero to millions (if not billions) of women when he pledged to share his future movie salary negotiation details with his female co-stars so they could negotiate better deals. His willingness to be a foot solider for pay equality is the clearest outward act of feminism I think I have seen a male Hollywood star make… ever. People are choosing sides in this debate, with some high-profile male actors, like the forever dead to me Jeremy Renner saying it’s not their “job” to help female co-star negotiate better and others commending Cooper for standing up to help.
All this celebrity salary hullabaloo stems from the November 2014 Sony email hack which revealed that Cooper and other male co-star of American Hustle earned more than female leads Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams. Since Lawrence was the biggest (higher grossing) star at the time, uh Hunger Games anyone, it was hard to for Sony to argue that she wasn’t getting the short end of the stick.
Fast-forward to this month, when Lawrence penned the essay, “Why Do I Get Paid Less Than My Male Co-stars,” and it became clear that the gender wage-gap debate was no longer going to be the solo battle of average women professionals anymore. And, that’s a good thing. The outcome of un-equal wages is not just evident in the fact that women make 70% of what men do for equal work, but also in the fact that they are also less likely to get equally funded for their start-ups (if they get funded at all).
There are a lot of female entrepreneurs out there with great business plans and working models struggling to get the necessary funding because of this issue. That means the best companies and products aren’t being brought to market and that affects us all. The wage-gap issue is not just women’s issue, it’s a business competiveness issue.
Bravo to Lawrence for refusing to allow herself to be paid unequally and for Cooper for standing with her and realizing that a rising tide lifts all ships. Now we need to bring this wag-gap conversation into the startup world and ensure that women are receiving the same funding options and opportunities as men.
– à bientôt
Charell Star | Not Just A Girl In A Dress