Ethics Quote of The Month: Fired Sony Executive Amy Pascal

Good for you, Amy.

Good for you, Amy.

“Here’s the problem: I run a business. People want to work for less money, I’ll pay them less money. I don’t call them up and say, ‘Can I give you some more?’ Because that’s not what you do when you run a business. The truth is, what women have to do is not work for less money. They have to walk away. People shouldn’t be so grateful for jobs. … People should know what they’re worth.”

—Recently fired—because of those hacked e-mails—Sony Pictures chief Amy Pascal, in an interview with journalist Tina Brown at the Women in the World conference in San Francisco. She was addressing her e-mails revealing that actress Jennifer Lawrence was paid less than her male co-stars in “American Hustle.”

Take that, “77 cents for every dollar”!

My least favorite deceitful statistic took it on the chin with Pascal’s candid and accurate statement, and she ranks Ethics Hero status not just for saying it, but saying it in front of an audience full of women who have supported the lie while cheering and voting for politicians who repeat it.

A large chunk of the disparity between the salaries of men and women for the same jobs is not the product of bias or discrimination, but the natural consequences of females being raised to be less assertive, with lower self-esteem, and their resulting poor negotiating skills. Pascal is placing responsibility squarely where it belongs. This has been one more example of a traditionally mistreated group relying on victim-mongering rather than focusing on personal responsibility, accountability and honesty to address what is well within their power to fix.

Brava, Amy Pascal!

If Sony had any sense or principals, it would give you your job back.

21 thoughts on “Ethics Quote of The Month: Fired Sony Executive Amy Pascal

  1. Women are punished for trying to negotiate higher salaries: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/29/AR2007072900827.html

    In this study, Bowles and her colleagues divided 119 volunteers at random into different groups and provided them with descriptions of male or female candidates who tried to negotiate a higher starting salary for a hypothetical job, along with descriptions of applicants who accepted the offered salary. The volunteers were asked to decide whether they would hire the candidates — who were all described as exceptionally talented and qualified. While both men and women were penalized for negotiating, Bowles found that the negative effect for women was more than twice as large as that for men.

    Subsequent studies used actors who recorded videos of themselves asking for more money or accepting salaries they had been offered. A new group of 285 volunteers were again asked whether they would be willing to work with the candidates after viewing the videos. Men tended to rule against women who negotiated but were less likely to penalize men; women tended to penalize both men and women who negotiated, and preferred applicants who did not ask for more.

    In a final set of studies, Bowles’s team had 367 volunteers play the role of job candidates and left it up to them to decide whether to ask for more money than they were offered. Women were less likely than men to negotiate when they believed they would be dealing with a man, but there was no significant difference between men and women when they thought a woman would be making the decision. The applicants, in other words, were accurately reading how males and females were likely to perceive them.

    • Correction (I’m not saying you misrepresented the study): “Some men may penalize some women for negotiating”

      I really think it’s a bogus study, set up to prove what it proved (like most research like this) The reason is that negotiating for hypothetical jobs with bosses who aren’t trying to fill real positions, reach real goals and have real budgets is nothing like reality.

      I have told this story before: I had a staff at the US Chamber that was all female and spectacular. The reason I did was that a lot of wonderful young women accepted my first offer. The one male on the staff argued me up a bit. Later, when I realized that the one male was earning more than any of the women, I went in and fought to have their salaries brought up to his, but I had NO obligation to, and I had not discriminated against them in any way. My experience was not atypical.

  2. she was CO-President of the studio. Perhaps she was “fired” but in a funny way she still works for Sony in a capacity that is launching a subsidiary production company. She will lead this new endeavor

    Or am I mistaken?

    • Thanks—“Sony” was supposed to say “Sony Pictures.” SHE said she was fired, so I’ll take her at her word. Usually such things involve deals to do “development projects,” or the like–it avoids lawsuits.

  3. “saying it in front of an audience full of women who have supported the lie while cheering and voting for politicians who repeat it.”

    How can it be a lie if people supposedly do it?

    And typically the people who oppose “equal pay for equal work” legislation will be critical of politicians for not paying their staff equally while ignoring the equal work part.

      • 77% is the broad explanation, in individual industries it can be higher or lower. It is an overly simplistic measure that doesn’t take into account certain items. Personally I wish they would get more specific.

        That being said, that still doesn’t change my criticism of those who oppose equal pay for equal work legislation by trying to point out that Obama doesn’t pay his staff equally while they ignore the whole “equal work” part of the proposed legislation.

        • I partially support the concept of equal pay for equal work, but I use equal in the strong sense. A woman who does exactly the same work each hour as her male colleague, but takes on average one more week off sick each year isn’t actually doing equal work. They are doing very slightly less, and should make very slightly less. The ability of legislators to deal with defining equal in any sort of rigorous way is… questionable.

          Beyond that, longevity raises make a great deal of sense, but would probably fall afoul of any legislation they cared to make about it. I can spend 5 minutes and think of other issues.

          As far as Obama goes, it’s a way of pointing out something that looks like hypocrisy at first glance. It’s more of a personal attack than an attempt to justify attacking the equal pay act. At least in some cases.

          • I’m not bothering with Dan today any more, as he has been struck dense, but as you say, nobody cites the WH’s hypocrisy (How would it NOT be hypocrisy, by the way. You say “at first glance”–that’s the point: mots pay disparity arises from real choices and differences in work and background, not discrimination. The WH may not be discriminating, but is still citing the bogus stat that holds that it is.) And what “equal pay act”? Surely you don’t mean Lilly Ledbetter? The deceitfully Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, a sop to trial lawyers (a major Democratic Party contributor) states that the 180-day statute of limitations for filing an equal-pay lawsuit resets with each new paycheck affected by that discriminatory action. It doesn’t do anything about equalizing pay. What would a coherent equal pay act be? Would it ignore total hours, education, ability to deal with staff and management, experience, responsibility, availability for overtime, ability, talent, creativity, initiative, leadership ability? From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs? What?

            • They support implementation of certain rules. While those rules don’t exist, it’s not hypocritical to follow the rules that currently exist. Same reason I don’t think Warren Buffet is technically hypocritical to advocate higher tax rates that would affect him without voluntarily paying more to the IRS. That’s not to say I approve of their goals or rhetoric.

              I meant the various proposed equal pay acts and amendments that have been out there. I didn’t have a particular one in mind. There seems to be a new push every year for some variant thereof. Their advocates constantly use the 77% statistic as a bludgeon. I am generally opposed to these acts, and sympathetic to the people that Liberal Dan was complaining about. If something workable could actually be created, I would support it, but I’ll believe it when I see it. There are too many caveats to deal with.

        • 77% is found by taking the average salary of a full time working man and comparing it to a full time working woman, not controlling for their level of education, field or work, overtime worked, or continuous years of employment. “Certain Items” is code. It means everything that effects what you make, in this case. Equal pay for equal work can’t come from a conversation that includes the 77% statistic because it compares a hairstylist who works 40 hours a week and learned her trade from a weekend course and a community center to an accountant working 80 hours a week with a certified 8 year designation as if they were both apples.

          And the reason the democrat and feminist shills won’t ever allow that number to be controlled is that the difference all but disappears once you do. And if you further break it up to demographics based on age and marital status, unmarried women under 30 are outperforming their male counterparts by 8%. That’d be embarrassing, a 23% gap touted for years ending up being 31% wrong in some demographics.

  4. Now, on to our “ethics hero”. In the world of a former CEO who likely still has a very large amount of savings to live on it is very easy for her to make the statement that women, or anyone for that matter, should pass on possible employment if they feel the compensation is not worth the skillset that person would bring to the table.

    In the world of everyone else, such idealistic goals do not sit well with reality for several reasons.

    A) Unemployment law simply wont allow this to happen. Someone who is collecting unemployment while looking for a job CANNOT say no to a job simply because the pay is too low. Saying no to a job offer can disqualify one from unemployment (unless it is drastically below the industry standard). Our “hero” doesn’t reply on unemployment, and as such doesn’t live in the real world of a worker.

    B) Unemployment also doesn’t cut it for many people. It can help in the short term but eventually one needs a job. If the job pays less then what are they to do, reject it and not take care of their families?

    C) Such a thing would be nice if employers/employees were on equal footing. However, if there is a surplus of workers, workers are at a disadvantage.

    I am not shocked a former executive would take this view though. You may view her as a hero, I view her as clueless to the everyday worker and what they deal with.

    • Oh, please. Being called Liberal Dan doesn’t mean you have to take ever idiotic positions some addled leftist might take on teh way to a civil commitment. And this logic doesn’t apply to men how and why? Nobody has to accept a lowball offer, unless they are desperate. Using desperation as the norm, and it isn’t, and almost certainly isn’t for anyone this woman has interviewed for 20 years, is beyond nonsensical. The unemployed individual at the center of the discussion was millionaire Jennifer Lawrence. Be serious.

      • I say the logic does apply to men. I personally was in that situation recently. I took a job for less pay because unemployment was not going to cut it any longer. I feel that my worth is more than what I am currently being paid but I have a family to take care of and little or no savings after 5 months of unemployment.

        I took your bravo to her statement as applying to all and not just to one actress. Jennifer Lawrence is absolutely in a position to demand truckloads of cash for starring in movies. But Pascal said “women” not “that woman” or “Lawrence” so you will excuse me for assuming that she wasn’t just talking about what J-Law should do.

        • She WAS however talking about women, and she was 100% right. Even the idiotic Carol Costello, so left she disappears when she turns sideways, said, “well, yes, it’s well known that women have trouble negotiating.” She was not talking about “people on unemployment who have to take whatever they are offered.” A straw man. Your specialty today.

    • A) First off: that isn’t true in many, I would argue most, situations. And second, even if it is in some, we’re talking about the bottom. The wage gap is non-existent at the bottom because the people working near it are corporate wage slaves on a pay scale, and those pay scales are NEVER gender specific. When we discuss the wage gap, UI is irrelevant.

      B) In Canada, which are the numbers I’m most familiar with, there are 4% more men on unemployment than women, And I can’t imagine it’s amazingly different in America. So if you feel that being on unemployment is a handicap, it’s actually a male one.

      C) Right, and if there is a labor shortage, workers have the better field. Supply and demand. That isn’t gendered.

  5. The mainstream fact checkers (such as PolitiFact!) have done a marvelously poor job of covering the gender pay gap issue. The best study to date was done by CONSAD and commissioned by the U.S. government during the Bush administration. That study concludes that the bulk of the gap occurs thanks to job choices and that the small remaining gap *may* shrink to almost nothing if all non-discrimination factors were taken into account. The study’s not at all hard to find and not hard to read. But mainstream fact checkers have a hard time reporting the results accurately when they report them at all.

    http://www.zebrafactcheck.com/once-more-gender-pay-gap/

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