Women and the Workplace

#time'sup women in the workplace

Equal pay in the workplace feels like an age old debate, one that still permeates every corporate space and working environment.

Not even Hollywood or the Today show are immune to these sorts of problems.

Lisa Wilkson, co-host of Chanel 9’s Today, reportedly quit when the network refused to pay her the same as her male co-host, Karl Stefanovic;[1].

The Sony leaked emails saga also highlighted the difference between female and male actors’ salary benefits, in particular the co-stars of American Hustle, with Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams earning less “extra points” (as in back-end compensation) after the movies’ release, at 7% respectively, to their male co-star’s 9%.

Interestingly, American Hustle was green-lit after The Hunger Games, starring Jennifer Lawrence, broke box-office records with JLaw becoming the first woman in 40 years to lead a film to the top US box office.

Even on the back of such fame and success, it was still a struggle for JLaw to get equal percentage, despite her integral role in the film, and its success (or failure) falling on the female co-stars shoulders as much as the men.

These publicised circumstances of pay disputes put things into perspective for the average working woman. If it is happening to the most famous of women with influence, money and (apparently) power, it’s probably happening to the rest of us.

The Time’s Up and #MeToo movement have given women the voice to stand up for themselves and is publishing the divide that still exists. The Oscars, which took place earlier this week, highlighted the difference between the female nominations to male nominations. Emma Stone introduced the nominations for best director saying:

“It is the vision of the director that takes an ordinary movie and turns it into a work of art… These four men and Greta Gerwig created their own masterpieces this year.”[2]

It is important to remember that women kick butt every day and achieve corporate success. It is just that women are underrepresented in the workplace and that changes the corporate voice.

“Lean in”, Sharyl Sanderberg tells us. “Don’t be ‘nice’”, says Dr Lois Frankel in her bestselling book Nice girls don’t get the corner office. Push boundaries, ask for what you want and work hard – it will be rewarded.

FGD has an equal opportunity policy which is evident in the sheer number of women in leadership and director roles, and the number of women lawyers.

Sarah Keenan is the Director of FGD Melbourne, a woman in charge. You can be too.

[1] http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-10-19/lisa-wilkinson-gender-pay-gap-your-stories/9063812

[2] http://time.com/5185688/oscars-2018-emma-stone-best-director-burn/

Cristina Cocchiaro is a senior solicitor in our Melbourne Office

By |2018-03-07T15:42:26+00:00March 7th, 2018|

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