The Sony Pictures email leak scandal rocked the world of Hollywood when it revealed personal correspondence between executives, directors, and actors. One of the more interesting revelations we explored in the May 2015 article “Negotiate for what you need to succeed,” published in Negotiation Briefings, was that the blockbuster film American Hustle’s female stars were being paid less than their male counterparts, leading many to decry the gender inequality prevalent in salary and compensation not only in Hollywood but in other industries.
This situation highlights the importance of being able to advocate for yourself in negotiations, a skill distinctly different from but closely related to that of advocating on behalf of others.
The Sony Pictures email hack was big news in Hollywood – revealing insider secrets and discussions between executives, actors, and agents that will keep tabloids talking for some time. One of the most interesting revelations in the hack was that of Jennifer Lawrence and Amy Adams had received 2% less in profits from the film than their male costars who each were receiving 9% of the film’s profits.
Aside from clearly illustrating the wage gap that exists between the genders, this instance also points out the importance of self-advocacy in negotiations, particularly for women. While a negotiator may be skilled at advocating on behalf of her organization, she may lack the skills necessary to secure what she wants in negotiations. Our May 2015 Negotiation Briefings article, “Negotiate for what you need to succeed,” delineates between big “N” and little “n” negotiations and offers some helpful negotiation tips for those bargainers seeking to create and claim value on their own behalf.