Sarah Silverman Wants Women To #AskForMore In New Equal Pay Campaign

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April 14 is a very special day in the lives of those who value equality, which we hope would be everyone, but sadly, it isn’t. It is Equal Pay Day in the US and to mark the occasion as an important reminder to men and women around this great country the value of paying men and women the same, Levo League have launched a campaign called #AskForMore encouraging women to negotiate better pay.

Many critics of the wage gap (who like to call it a “myth”) often say there is no wage gap because factors like negotiating power, women taking time out of their career to have a baby and sometimes even skill sets come into play. That’s very much true. But there’s no getting around that there are many industries where you can put men side by side with females who do the same job as them and there will be instances where the men are paid more.

Like many ongoing issues relating to equality, it is not a one-size-fits-all solution. But raising awareness is the first crucial step.

Levo League have put together an amazing comprehensive resource site where you can see stats, read stories from some notable men and women, and find out how the wage gap could affect you.

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One of the celebs taking part in the campaign is comedian Sarah Silverman who shared a story about doing a 10-minute stand up set with a male friends of hers. He got paid $60 and she got $10. She was shocked, not because she needed the money but because of the principal that it didn’t cross the mind of the male club promoter that there should be no difference in paying her or her male friend for their sets.

“If you work a job and a man is working the same job, you should be getting paid the same. I don’t think anyone’s asking for more than what’s fair,” she said.

The statistics in the US state that women make 77c for every $1 that a man makes, and the figure is even less when it comes to women of color. According to the World Economic Forum, the USA isn’t even in the top ten group of countries when it comes to gender equality.

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The Department of Labor which released an official report about the wage gap talks about the Equal Pay Act which was signed into law by President Kennedy in 1963. Sure it was a good measure, but that’s also like saying ever since murder became a crime all murders have stopped. The law can only do so much and while it is very much needed, including the additional equal pay measures President Obama signed in 2014, Levo League wants to make sure women are armed with the knowledge to be able to negotiate what they are worth rather than expecting it to come to them.

The truth of the matter is if you are just as qualified for a job or more so than someone else, you’d get the gig, right? Sadly that’s not how the world works so Levo League is hosting a series of events around the country during April and May sharing tips on how to have confidence in the workforce, knowing what you are worth, and standing up for what you think you deserve.

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A study conducted in 2012 found that there is inherent gender bias in the science field. Scientists were more likely to hire an applicant for a lab position when they saw a male name on a resume. It’s important to be aware of all the potential barriers out there in the workforce. We could sit around moaning about the wage gap (which pundit predict won’t completely be eliminated until 2100 – legitimately a moan-worthy fact) or we could find ways to become empowered to navigate what we deserve in our careers.

Thankfully there are organizations like Levo League who actually give a damn more than just a law and want to help you get there. Aside from Sarah Silverman, you can also watch videos from Chelsea Clinton, and hear how many women in the media and entertainment tackling salary negotiations.

“I think as women, as a whole, if we can understand what we deserve… we [can understand that] we deserve quality lives. Go ahead, ask for more,” Sarah urges in the video below.

2 Comments

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