Hilary Swank opens up about a major experience with the pay gap, and when will this end?

There’s little that can be said about the gender wage gap that hasn’t already been said. It goes deeper than the simple truth about the pay gap (that women typically make 80% of what men do). In fact, according to the American Association of University Women, while the gap has narrowed, women aren’t expected to achieve parity until 2152. 

Even more harrowing is hearing that as women receive promotions, the wage gap widens. So even if you, for example, have a couple of Oscars and Golden Globes under your belt, it still won’t save you from feeling the effects.

During a sit down on Chelsea, actress Hilary Swank described her experiences with the wage gap, as they related to both her pay and her being able to receive insurance. Though she won top accolades for her role in Boys Don’t Cry, because she was only paid $3,000  (and insurance coverage starts for those paid over $5k), she was left footing the bill for a prescription.

After winning her second Academy Award for Million Dollar Baby, she was offered a role on a film where she was offered significantly less than her significantly less esteemed male co-star. Like, over nine million dollars less


She doesn’t name names, but says,

"The male hadn't received any critical success, but had been in a movie where he was 'hot'."

He was offered $10 million for the role, while she was offered $500,000. While the amount is hardly chump change, the gap between the two is shocking. Swank ultimately passed on the role, and said,

“They found a newcomer, who they offered $50,000.”


Hilary is not the only one who has had this experience. This is a reality for many other actresses, including huge box office stars like Sandra Bullock, who was revealed to have made 36% less than the highest paid actor in the same year. What’s more is that this is a reality for all women, across all occupations.

And that’s why it’s so incredibly important to continue talking about it. Transparency is the first step in the fight for economic justice for all women.

Thank you for sharing, Hilary!