When the topics of compensation and gender enter the same conversation, things can get a bit heated. This was the case as the world’s highest paid actress, Jennifer Lawrence, recently penned a response to the late 2014 Sony leak that disclosed she was compensated less than her male co-stars in American Hustle. Surprisingly, Lawrence didn’t get mad at Sony, but she instead got mad at herself. Why? “I failed as a negotiator because I gave up early,” she says. “I didn’t want to keep fighting over millions of dollars that, frankly, due to two franchises, I don’t need.”
Although Lawrence openly admits her experience as a working woman isn’t “exactly relatable,” there is one element of her experience that many women can relate to: We want to be liked and don’t want to come across as “difficult” or “spoiled,” as Lawrence puts it.
Linda Babcock, an economist at Carnegie Mellon and co-author of the book Women Don’t Ask, found that only 7 percent of women attempted to negotiate their initial job offers, while 57 percent of the men did so. Why? Yes, negotiating well is hard work; it takes a delicate balance to be an advocate for yourself yet still show respect to your boss and company at the same time, but I think it stems from this idea Lawrence suggests: Many of us are people-pleasers and peacekeepers at our core. It’s in our personalities; it’s how we were created, how we were raised.1
The Problem with People-Pleasing and Peacekeeping
This slideshow is only available for subscribers.
Please log in or subscribe to view the slideshow.