Have you sunk into watching "Good Girls Revolt?"
On Friday, Amazon released their newest binge-worthy show based on Lynn Povich’s 2012 book The Good Girls Revolt, about a gender-discrimination lawsuit filed by her and her peers at Newsweek in 1970. The series follows a group of young female researchers at "News of the Week," who ask for equal treatment. (Sound familiar? It should.) GGR operates in the past and present, addressing the on-going struggle of female employees and their inability to out-earn male colleagues-- or simply earn an equal wage.
In the pilot, Nora Ephron (played by Grace Gummer) questions why she and other female researchers are scrambling over research assignments that will be handed off to the men. "All that's left to do is make yourself indispensable," says peer Patti Robinson (played by Genevieve Angelson) when Ephron first joins the team.
So in honor of good girls revolting and equal pay, here are 4 boss women who have asked for more money, more flexibility, and more respect.
“I went over and interviewed with Goodyear in 1978, and I worked for Goodyear tire company for 19 years before I found out that the males were making 40 percent more than I was making for working the same job. Someone left me a little torn sheet of paper and tipped me off anonymously, listing my base pay and their base pay. The first thing that popped into my mind when I saw it was how much I had lost on overtime. I thought about my retirement and my 401(k) and my social security, because what you earn is what determines your retirement. I was just humiliated and embarrassed, to say the least, that a major corporation could do me that way. The company I worked for told me when I [was] hired there: ‘If you discuss your pay, you will not have a job here.’ So no one ever discussed their pay. I never knew. I had no idea how much someone else was making … After I got that tip, I filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the wheels went into motion with the company.” — Self, January 2016
“I took my last job [before my husband entered the White House] because of my boss’s reaction to my family situation. I didn’t have a babysitter, so I took Sasha right in there with me in her crib and her rocker. I was still nursing, so I was wearing my nursing shirt. I told my boss, ‘This is what I have: two small kids. My husband is running for the U.S. Senate. I will not work part time. I need flexibility. I need a good salary. I need to be able to afford babysitting. And if you can do all that, and you’re willing to be flexible with me because I will get the job done, I can work hard on a flexible schedule.’ I was very clear. And he said yes to everything.” —Parade, June 2014
“When I was negotiating with Facebook’s founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg for my compensation, he made me an offer that I thought was fair. We had been having dinner several nights a week for more than a month and a half, discussing Facebook’s mission and his vision for the future. I was ready to accept the job. No, I was dying to accept the job. My husband, Dave, kept telling me to negotiate, but I was afraid of doing anything that might botch the deal. I could play hardball, but then maybe Mark would not want to work with me. Was it worth it when I knew that ultimately I was going to accept the offer? I concluded it was not. But right before I was about to say yes, my exasperated brother-in-law, Marc Bodnick, blurted out, ‘Damn it, Sheryl! Why are you going to make less than any man would make to do the same job?’
My brother-in-law didn’t know the details of my deal. His point was simply that no man at my level would consider taking the first offer. This was motivating. I went back to Mark and said that I couldn’t accept, but I prefaced it by telling him, ‘Of course you realize that you’re hiring me to run your deal teams, so you want me to be a good negotiator. This is the only time you and I will ever be on opposite sides of the table.’ Then I negotiated hard, followed by a nervous night wondering if I had blown it. But Mark called me the next day. He resolved the gap by improving my offer, extending the terms of my contract from four to five years and allowing me to buy into the company as well. His creative solution not only closed the deal, but also set us up for a longer-term alignment of interests.” — Lean In, March 2013
“The most ironic that comes to mind is that Time magazine asked me to write an essay about the early women’s movement. It was a long time ago — it was maybe in the ’70s. First of all, they asked me to do it because they didn’t have a woman on staff. Secondly, I did it under deadline because it never occurred to me that they would pay me less than they did men writing the same essay. Time had a page in each issue in which there was a personal essay. When my agent got the check, he told me that I was getting paid less than men who wrote the same essay. So, I wrote the editor of Time and complained and he sent me a Gucci purse. I took the purse back to Gucci because I needed the money and tried to get cash for it and I couldn’t.” —Fusion, December 2015
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