When Jennifer Lawrence penned her gender wage equality essay for Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner's Lenny Letter last fall, her words went viral. And while that isn't totally surprising (she is one of Hollywood's biggest stars, after all), the essay garnered a lot of attention and started a larger conversation, which is exactly what Dunham and Konner were aiming for.
"One of the reasons that we started Lenny Letter is that we wanted to foster other peoples voices in starting conversations," Dunham tells LinkedIn Executive Editor Daniel Roth in the first Influencer Interview of 2016. "Jennifer Lawrence's wage-equality [essay] was a great example of how one sort of perfectly timed missive can get everybody talking and everybody engaged on a topic that was previously sort of a don’t-go-there topic."
With their newsletter, they're trying to breakdown topics that may be taboo and inspire women to ask for what they deserve. "Just because you know what you’re worth, doesn’t mean it’s always easy to ask for it," Dunham continues. "Money is one of the ways that you let people know that you appreciate them. When we’re getting into collaborative relationships with other artists we want them to feel appreciated." If that means being more generous than they anticipated, so be it. "If we do decide to be a little bit generous in a negotiation it’s not because we’re weak or afraid. It’s because we know that that comes back to you in another way."
As for when you get yourself to the negotiating table, Konner recommends being aggressive. "I think a great negotiator is an aggressive negotiator, and we’re aggressive negotiators. We're not worried about someone coming at us." We definitely like their style.
Watch the full interview above to hear more of what they have to say about Lenny Letter, Hollywood, and being a brilliant negotiator.