For many women, the topic of money — how much we make, how much we’ve saved, how much we pay in rent — has been taboo our entire lives. It’s just one of those things you don’t bring up at brunch. But on Equal Pay Day, it’s more important to break the silence about money matters, especially when it comes to the issue of getting what you deserve.
Equal Pay Day falls on April 4 this year, and the date is no coincidence — it symbolizes how far into the year women would have to work to earn the same amount men earned in the previous year. According to The American Association of University Women (AAUW), women working full time in the United States were paid, on average, just 80 percent of what men were paid for the same work.
Feel slighted? You should! The good news is, you can do something about it. One woman we can learn from when it comes to speaking out for what’s fair is actor Gina Rodriguez. As a firm believer that equal pay is one of the foremost gender equality issues and an outspoken advocate for women in Hollywood, Rodriguez refuses to be silent.
We partnered with LUNA Bar to discuss the gender pay gap with Rodriguez. Here are three small yet positive actions the actor says you can do right now to be a champion for equal pay.
1. Understand Your Worth
Rodriguez believes that they key to being a champion for change lies within you — but it’s up to you to understand your worth so you can truly fight for what you believe in.
“If you are capable of doing a job, there is no reason you should get paid any less than anyone else doing the exact same job,” Rodriguez says. “I am a believer of positivity and creating solutions, so I do believe that any issue you want to champion, and specifically equal pay, is about understanding your self worth. It’s about creating a foundation of education, of morality, of integrity, and of confidence... Because if you love yourself, you can love and champion just about anything.”
2. Change Your Perspective
To truly be a pioneer of change, Rodriguez emphasizes the importance of rallying behind one another, and uplifting ourselves and each other, so none of us has to settle.
“I think that the issue of equal pay is an ability to change the domestication of our brains that think, ‘Oh, well, at least I’m lucky that I got this!’” Rodriguez says. While she stresses that individuals shouldn’t be ungrateful for the opportunities they receive, she also pushes them to be unafraid to ask for more.
“There is something beautiful and humbling in saying, ‘I am happy that I am where I’m at.’ And then there is a strength in saying, ‘But I do know what I deserve.’”
3. Start A Conversation
By talking about these issues, Rodriguez believes we can start to strip down the limitations set upon us by society. She encourages everyone to contribute to the movement in a positive way simply by having discussions about equal pay.
“One of the blessings I’ve been given as an actor is that I am able to speak to many people. I think conversations of this sort start to break down the social constructs that have stopped us from going after our dreams, and stopped us from understanding that equality and equal pay should have been a standard many, many years ago.”
To learn more about how you can join Rodriguez and LUNA Bar in the fight against the gender pay gap, watch the video, below.
This post is sponsored by LUNA Bar.