Beverly Wettenstein
Apr 3, 2017 · 4 min read

JOE SCARBOROUGH AND JACK NICHOLSON

PROVE EQUAL PAY IS MEN’S ISSUE, TOO

WEAR GREEN RIBBON: MAKE EQUAL PAY EVERY DAY

What do Joe Scarborough and Jack Nicholson have in common? They chose to give their female co-stars a portion of their own paychecks to compensate for the gender pay gap disparity.

At 57 , in 2003, Diane Keaton was an aging movie star and thrilled to co-star with Jack Nicholson, 66, in “Something’s Gotta Give.” As it turns out, from reel to real life, he was the someone to give her a certain secret something. This was a rare romantic-comedy about a mature, successful, divorced playwright who falls in love with a famous, womanizing music mogul prone to dating women under thirty.

The last night of the shoot, Nicholson hugged Keaton goodbye and whispered something about “a little piece.” Two years later she received a check “with a lot of zeroes” for her back-end percentage of the film. That wasn’t part of her contract deal. But her business manager told her Nicholson gave her a piece of his own percentage. No wonder it’s her favorite film! And she earned her fourth Oscar nomination.

“Morning Joe” co-hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski have been very public about their pay disparity. She was ready to quit when he revealed he was earning 14 times her salary. Together they confronted management. She was surprised to find extra funds in her bank account after he secretly diverted his ratings bonuses to keep her on the show. He considered her to be a good investment.

Beside — and behind — some great women are great men! We should all be so fortunate to have thoughtful, generous men and women in positions of power, who use their influence to level the paying field to promote pay parity.

ICELAND FIRST TO REQUIRE PROOF OF EQUAL PAY

Iceland recently announced it will be the first country in the world to make employers prove they offer equal pay. The government will introduce legislation to parliament making it mandatory for both private and public firms to obtain a certificate of compliance to prove they give equal pay for equal work.

It’s no wonder Iceland has been ranked the best country in the world for gender equality by the World Economic Forum. Yet, Icelandic women still earn 14 to 20 percent less than men. The country already has laws to ensure women’s representation on corporate boards.

WEAR GREEN RIBBON: MAKE EQUAL PAY EVERY DAY

Equal Pay Day (April 4) this week symbolizes how long it takes for U.S. women working full time, year-round to “catch up” with the wages men earned in 2016.

Fifty four years after the U.S. passed the Equal Pay Act, women still face a substantial gender wage gap in every field. Women working full time, year-round, typically were paid 80 cents for every dollar paid to men in 2015. The wage gap was even larger for African-American women, 63 cents, and Hispanic women, 54 cents.

Over a work lifetime, loss of wages and benefits, including social security, pension, etc., affect women, families and the economies of our communities and country. Women’s pay gap begins with the first job and may never catch up. The World Economic Forum ranks the U.S. 28 out of 145 countries when it comes to gender equality.

I propose women and men who support equal pay for equal work, wear a green ribbon to symbolize MAKE EQUAL PAY EVERY DAY. Cut one end at least 20 percent shorter, to engender discussion for pay parity.

HOLLYWOOD TO HOCKEY: EQUAL PAYING FIELD

From Hollywood stars to hockey all-stars, women have to advocate for equal pay. Jennifer Lawrence is the highest-paid actress in the world. Yet she very publicly noted that one reason she was paid less than her “American Hustle” male co-stars was that, “I failed as a negotiator because I gave up early.”

Movie stars have agents and lawyers negotiating for them. Last week the U.S. women’s national ice hockey team avoided a boycott (girlcott?) of the world championships against USA Hockey, by reaching an agreement to settle their dispute about compensation and support.

“CELEBRATE WOMEN EVERY DAY AND MAKE HISTORY!”

One hundred years ago this week (April 2), Jeannette Rankin, the first woman elected to Congress, was finally seated in the House. The congressmen debated for a month in a prolonged discussion about her admission! Read about political history progress in my “Women Winners 2016 Election Report: Cracking The Glass Ceiling, Celebrate Slivers of Success.”

See Today’s History in my “Women Make History Every Day Database” at www.beverlywettenstein.com

Beverly Wettenstein

Written by

Women’s Advocate, Speaker, Journalist, Author, Historian, Media Monitor. Founder of Women Make History Every Day Database. www.beverlywettenstein.com