I hear a lot of arguments as to why there is still a pay gap between men and women – main one is always that women get paid less because they hold lower paid jobs, whereas men dominate senior positions, and the main reason for that is because many women are still their children’s primary carers.
This is for sure a good argument and in many cases it is completely true, however every now and then that argument gets blown out of the water.
Last month ‘E News’ presenter Catt Sadler left her job after 12 years with E! Entertainment because the company was paying her half as much as her male co-host, Jason Kennedy.
Ms. Sadler said that in the beginning of 2017 she found out about the salary difference and when it was time to negotiate a new contract, she demanded to be paid comparably. The company refused and so she decided to leave.
The company claims that the salary difference was not due to their gender, stating that it “compensates employees fairly and appropriately based on their roles, regardless of gender” and an E! spokeswoman said that their roles were not comparable.
However in truth, Ms Sadler was co hosting both, the “daily Pop” and “E News” for several months, which totaled in seven shows a week compared to Kennedy’s five shows.
These were two people who were doing the same job yet getting paid very differently.
And this is not the only case of pay gaps for the same job.
In Hollywood, women are still earning less than their male colleagues with the worlds top female earner in 2017 being Emma Stone, she is still ranked only number 15 if you put her on a list with the men.
Many say that the gap exists mainly because there are more leading roles for men and leads get paid more than supporting roles (makes sense and is obviously another issue for another time), but this does not seem to be true in all cases since women who have been the “leads” in a movie still get paid less than the men (Stone in La La Land is a great example).
And here is another interesting thing to think about:
In 2014 Jennifer Lawrence who was the highest earning actress that year, spoke about the pay gap and how angry she was about it. She also noted that women negotiating for higher pay might worry about seeming “difficult” or “spoiled” and that her own desire to be liked prevented her from arguing her pay.
Ms Sadler said last week regarding why she stayed despite finding out about the pay difference between her a Mr. Kennedy: “I did that in good faith because I’m a team player and I wanted both shows to succeed. I trusted that, come time to renegotiate, I would be compensated fairly for all of that work moving forward”.
So could it be that as women we “play nice”? Maybe too nice?
I mean, I kinda doubt men could care less if they were coming across as “difficult” or “spoiled” and I am pretty sure they wouldn’t do extra work without getting compensated for it first, right?
And no, I do not mean for one minute that it’s our fault we get paid less, but I do wonder if we always see our worth?
You see, whether we like it or not, I think that as a society, women are led to believe that our main worth is related to our roles as mothers and wives, and although we have without a doubt come a very, very long way and are free to pursue other roles if we wish, there is still an almost subconscious belief that our “female abilities” (being able to have children for example) is where our ultimate strength lies.
I personally disagree with that.
I think that women’s strength of character, our ability to cope with so much on our plates and in so many situations, our fighting spirit, intelligence, the fact that we are so adaptable and how hard we work are what make us such amazing creators.
So I guess what I am trying to say is that I salute Ms Sadler for knowing her worth, for taking a stand and for walking out.
I am 100% with you.
Image credit Catt Sadler Instagram