Salary

Get Salary Negotiating Tips From Ellen Pompeo, One of the Highest Paid Women on TV

Here's how Ellen Pompeo finally got the salary she deserved.
Get Salary Negotiating Tips From Ellen Pompeo, One of the Highest Paid Women on TV
Image credit: DFree | Shutterstock
Content Provider
4 min read
This story originally appeared on GOBankingRates

Actress Ellen Pompeo, star of TV’s long-running hospital drama Grey’s Anatomy, signed a contract earlier this year that made her one of the highest-paid women in television. She currently ranks as the fifth highest-paid actress or actor on TV, according to Forbes.

Related: Businesses You Didn't Know Your Favorite Celebrities Own

Her much-publicized salary negotiations garnered her both support and backlash. But, Pompeo remained undeterred. "… I’ve finally gotten to the place where I’m OK asking for what I deserve," she told The Hollywood Reporter, "which is something that comes only with age … the truth is, anybody can be good on a show season one and two. Can you be good 14 years later? Now, that’s a [expletive] skill."

Keep reading to learn more about Pompeo’s path to stardom.

Birthdate: Nov. 10, 1969
Net worth: $40 million
Sources of income: Grey’s Anatomy
Career highlights: Nominated for a Golden Globe in 2007 for her role in Grey’s Anatomy; received the 2007 Screen Actors Guild Award for outstanding performance by an ensemble in a drama series  

Ellen Pompeo net worth: $40 million

Pompeo’s net worth is estimated at $40 million. Earlier this year she negotiated an annual salary of $20 million for her role as Meredith Grey on Grey’s Anatomy. She now makes $575,000 per episode on the award-winning hospital drama. Her contract includes a signing bonus of over $1 million as well as two full backend equity points.

Related: The 24 Most Powerful Female Executives and Their Net Worths

Ellen Pompeo’s transition from actress to producer

Ellen Pompeo was born Nov. 10, 1969, in Everett, Mass. She is married to music producer Chris Ivery and they have three children.

Pompeo has played Dr. Meredith Grey since Grey’s Anatomy began in 2005. She also appeared in movies such as Old SchoolCatch Me If You Can, Moonlight Mile and others, and on TV in episodes of FriendsLaw & OrderStrong Medicine and more. She made an appearance in Taylor Swift’s music video for "Bad Blood."

Pompeo was nominated for a Golden Globe in 2007 for best performance by an actress in a television series. She and her fellow cast members of Grey’s Anatomy received the 2007 Screen Actors Guild Award for outstanding performance by an ensemble in a drama series.

Pompeo became a co-executive producer on the Grey’s Anatomy spinoff Station 19 in 2018, and she is also working on a legal drama for her production company. She recently sold an anthology drama about American fashion designers to Amazon.

Related: 15 Celebrities Who Got Fired and Made a Comeback

Ellen Pompeo’s negotiating advice

Pompeo credits Grey’s Anatomy creator Shonda Rhimes for helping to empower her to ask for the salary she felt she deserved. She did her homework and found out how much the show had generated for ABC’s parent company, Disney, and used that information to bolster her position. "Grey’s has generated nearly $3 billion for Disney," she said. "When your face and your voice have been part of something that’s generated $3 billion for one of the biggest corporations in the world, you start to feel like, ‘OK, maybe I do deserve a piece of this.'"

Here is Pompeo’s advice for asking for a raise:

  • Always start with the positive.
  • Back up what you’re asking for -- numbers help.
  • Be willing to walk away if you don’t get what you want.

Read more about the ugly pay truths in the entertainment industry.

(By Karen Doyle)

More From Women Entrepreneur

Real Entrepreneurs

This Facial Shop Focused on Helping People Instead of Pushing Products -- and Raised $8 Million in the Process

Heyday founders Adam Ross and Michael Pollak are on a mission to "take the facial out of the spa."
Gender Differences

Shifting the Paradigm to Embrace Gender Differences

By failing to take into account how women are different, I believe that women are being set up for failure.
Mentorship

To Protect Our Future, Diversify the STEM Pipeline Through Mentorship

To counter growing cybersecurity threats, the current tech talent pipeline needs to expand -- urgently.
Women Leaders

Powerful Women Don't Need the Limelight to Be Influential. Here's Why.

Influence is a natural byproduct of respect, and for women in the workplace it can be achieved without any kind of masculine posturing whatsoever.

More from Entrepreneur

Grow Your Business at Entrepreneur LIVE! Join us on Nov. 16 in Brooklyn, NY, to learn from legends like Danica Patrick and Maria Sharapova, pitch our editors, meet with investors, and potentially walk away with funding!
Register here

One-on-one online sessions with our experts can help you start a business, grow your business, build your brand, fundraise and more.
Book Your Session

In as little as seven months, the Entrepreneur Authors program will turn your ideas and expertise into a professionally presented book.
Apply Now

Latest on Entrepreneur

My Queue

There are no Videos in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any video to save to your queue.

There are no Articles in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any article to save to your queue.

There are no Podcasts in your queue.

Click on the Add to next to any podcast episode to save to your queue.

You're not following any authors.

Click the Follow button on any author page to keep up with the latest content from your favorite authors.