What you should learn from the Hollywood gender pay gap scandal

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Hollywood isn’t known for being particularly progressive, and issues with equality have always been a major talking point, even amongst the most A-list of stars.

There are many conversation surrounding the lack of ethnic diversity and female leads in the world of cinema and you probably thought it was shifting in the right direction by now.
However, just a few weeks after the BBC gender pay gap scandal, the salary of hundreds of Hollywood’s biggest movie stars has been revealed – and it doesn’t look good.

The highest earning female actress in Hollywood and Bollywood over the past 12 months, Emma Stone, only comes in at number 15 on the list. That means that the top 10 highest earners in Hollywood are currently all male!
In fact, only ten names in the top 30 belong to women.

This reveals two important things about gender inequality; the lack of leading roles in blockbuster films available to women, and the gender pay gap issue that exists even within the walls of the elite.

If we look at the very fact that Emma Stone, who starred in one of the biggest movies of 2016, was paid substantially less than her male co-star, Ryan Gosling, then it seems fair to say that it doesn’t matter if females are even being given these leading roles, they are still paid less than their male counterparts.

This is a true reflection of pay inequality that occurs throughout society as a whole. Female workers can earn 9.4% less than male workers doing the exact same role and hours.
Why is this even still an issue?
Many believe that it’s down to the fact that women are far more likely to leave a job or reduce their hours after having children, and since there are less high-paid jobs being offered to women who need to provide for their family as much as men, they are pushed out of the labour market into more flexible, lower paying roles.

But how does that translate in Hollywood where these types of issues don’t really exist?
Well, it highlights another very important point regarding the gender pay gap – women are still undervalued in comparison to men.
If we take another look at this Hollywood scandal, you can clearly see that the men are ‘worth more’ in cinema by the simple fact that the combined earnings of the top ten male actors is $316 million more than the top ten females. Production companies are paying out for men because they seem to think that they add more value to a movie, but this has been proven false time and time again following the success of films like ‘Bridesmaids’, ‘Ghostbusters’, ‘Hidden Figures’ and ‘Pitch Perfect’ – all female led movies.

As an employer, you can be the one to make a change by looking at the possible gender pay gap in your organisation and how that can be resolved.
Are there women and men doing the same job but getting paid a substantially different rate for no justifiable reason? Are there more men in positions of power than women? Are the men being handed more opportunities than the women?

If you find that your business is suffering with the same problem that is rocking Hollywood right now, then do something about it!
Start adjusting those salaries, encouraging the women in your workplace to go for those promotions, and giving your employees equal opportunities across the board from recruitment to pay rises.
It really is a simple problem to solve – pay women and men the same if they are doing the same job to the same standard.

This Hollywood revelation, as well as the recent one from the BBC, is, hopefully, going to be the wake-up call that the world needs when it comes to gender inequality!

If you would like to discuss issues such as gender inequality, gender pay gap reporting and discrimination further, then book a free consultation with our HR consultants today on 0845 2626 260

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