Laurie Swanson Blog

A Tip from Michelle Williams on How NOT to Negotiate

By now you have heard about the article in The Washington Post from November 2017 that talked about the pay gaps, or should I say pay canyons, between different cast members on the movie All the Money in the World. 

The backstory is that Kevin Spacey had been removed from the movie amidst allegations of sexual misconduct and the cast had to go back and do re-shoots in order to accommodate his removal.

In the article it was publicized that Mark Wahlberg was paid $1.5 million for his re-shoots and Michelle Williams a mere $80 per diem equaling approximately $1000.

And they both had the same agent!

This is appalling, not fair, not equal and not right.

Then, this week I picked up the September 2018 Vanity Fair with Michelle on the cover.  Not only was my anger reignited about the pay disparity BUT I also was totally pissed off when I read something Michelle said about the re-shoots.

When asked about the event, Michelle said, “It wouldn’t have occurred to me to ask for money for the re-shoots. I just wanted to do the right thing on his behalf. “She was talking about doing the right thing on behalf of Kevin Spacey’s accuser.

Of course!

We all want to do what we can to make sure that the right thing is being done, especially for people who have suffered. 

What we do not have to do is put our kindness and compassion ahead of getting paid what is fair and equal. 

These are not mutually exclusive scenarios.

What should occur

Women do this a lot -- make sacrifices because they think it is kind and compassionate.

We often place more value on kindness and compassion than on speaking our truth, earning what we should or being given access to what is available to others.

WTF! Enough of that.

Time to kindly and compassionately get what is rightfully ours.

Keeping Secrets is so Second Grade!

A big part of the solution for women getting equal pay and equal access to opportunities is for corporations to have full transparency around what people get paid in their organization.

Why shouldn’t what people make be available? 

What is the big secret?

Does keeping salaries secret do more harm than good?

The answers to these questions seem obvious to me but I also know that getting corporate America to stand up for full transparency will be a bit of a longer play.

We need to begin to do something now, today, to right this ship.


5 tips to getting the salary you deserve

1. Know your why. You have to know what you want and why.

Q: Why more money?
A: Larger retirement fund, more fun with friends and family, no debt, college fund.  

2. Create a vision. Having a plan helps keep distractions and shiny pennies from sidetracking you.

3. Be prepared. Go to to get real salaries based off of real data for similar roles in your community. Ask people in your industry doing the work you want to do. Take AAUW’s online negotiation and salary builder course at:  {Link}.

4. Ask more questions. Ask before interviews, during interviews, at meetings, in elevators.
This is how you gather information. That is how you become educated and empowered.

5. Believe in yourself. Take risks. Build up the brave part of yourself. Do something out of the ordinary now so that asking for something out of the ordinary later won’t feel so scary. It is time for you to do your thing without apology! 

BONUS TIP: Stand up for others who need the addition of your voice to be fully heard. When you empower others, you can’t help but empower yourself, your community and the world.
The time is NOW to earn more money.  Let's connect

Laurie Swanson, Career Strategist

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