15 notable women on how to fight for equal pay

The wage gap is still very significant. Though it is easy to become disheartened women need to keep fighting for equal pay. Here are some notable women, and their wise words, who have spoken out about equal pay.

Today is Equal Pay Day which marks the point in the year that women have to work to earn the same amount as men did by December 31 of the year prior. With Equal Pay Day falling on April 10 this year that means women had to work a total of 99 days to make the same as men, and that is actually only accounting for white women.

For women of color, the dates are pushed even further into the new year. With women earning roughly 80 cents for every dollar men make (across industries) that amounts to more than $400,000 in lost earnings for women.

In other words, the wage gap is still very significant. Though it is easy to become disheartened, women need to keep fighting for equal pay.

Here are some notable women, and their wise words, who have spoken out about equal pay.

1. Brit Morin: CEO and founder of Brit + Co

“When asking for anything, whether you’re fundraising or asking for a raise, it’s important to have data to back it up. My advice would be to come prepared with facts that demonstrate why you should get what you are asking for. That being said, I would advise that you should not approach your manager in an argumentative manner. Stay calm and rational, and even if the raise can’t happen at the current moment, you will have at least been heard and will potentially get there in the near future.”

2. Danielle Brooks: actress

“You are only as powerful as what you know. If you don’t know, how can you get what you need. I feel it’s important for sisters to help each other out and help to educate each other.” — Refinery 29

3. Fran Hauser: media executive and author of The Myth of the Nice Girl 

“You have to stand in your own two shoes.”

4. Chelsea Handler: TV personality

“Well you can’t get anything until you ask for it, so that’s the first step. You have to be confident and ask for what you want. Period.” — Levo.com

5. Lisa Bertini: employment and labor attorney

“Don’t watch others be cheated. Once you climb that ladder, don’t pull it up behind you. Join the executive committees and compensation committees so you can make the decisions, and this will be part of an ugly past!”

6. Gina Rodriguez: actress

“I was just so grateful when I had the opportunity to do what I loved that I never once stopped to complain that I wasn’t getting paid as much as my fellow co-stars or male counterparts. … I don’t think standing up for myself for equal pay is complaining or something I should be afraid of.” — CNN

7. Kate White: author of The Gutsy Girl Handbook and former Editor in Chief of Cosmopolitan

“It used to always be that you let them go first, and now it’s like, you go first, and that anchors it, and they work with your number.”

8. Mila Kunis: actress and producer

Throughout my career, there have been moments when I have been insulted, sidelined, paid less, creatively ignored, and otherwise diminished based on my gender. And always, I tried to give people the benefit of the doubt; maybe they knew more, maybe they had more experience, maybe there was something I was missing. I taught myself that to succeed as a woman in this industry I had to play by the rules of the boy’s club. But the older I got and the longer I worked in this industry, the more I realized that it’s bullshit! And, worse, that I was complicit in allowing it to happen.” — A Plus

9. Bozoma Saint John: Chief Brand Officer, Uber

“Give the number first. Make it high as hell because then you can’t be low-balled. … Do the work. Don’t just call a number out of the sky. Know the range and then exceed the range because then you can negotiate down just a little bit.” — CBS News

10. Sarah Silverman: actress, writer, and producer

“I’m all for women having to work harder to prove themselves at this juncture if that’s the way it is in the world. But if you work a job, and a man is working the same job, you should be getting paid the same.” — People.com

11. Carli Lloyd: U.S. soccer player

“If I were a male soccer player who won a World Cup for the United States, my bonus would be $390,000. Because I am a female soccer player, the bonus I got for our World Cup victory last summer was $75,000. I understand that the men’s World Cup generates vastly more money globally than the women’s event, but the simple truth is that U.S. Soccer projects that our team will generate a profit of $5.2 million in 2017 while the men are forecast to lose almost $1 million. Yet we get shortchanged coming and going.” — Op-ed for the New York Times

12. Emma Watson: actress and activist

“The reality is that if we do nothing, it will take 75 years, or for me to be nearly a hundred, before women can expect to be paid the same as men for the same work.” — Event for the HeForShe Campaign

13. Catt Sadler: TV host

“This isn’t about one person or a few — it’s about us. It’s about holding each other up as sisters, challenging the status quo, and refusing to accept less than what we deserve.” — The Coveteur

14. Issa Rae: actress, writer, and producer

“Something needs to change. And smarter negotiating isn’t enough, because the pay gap isn’t my fault or any woman’s fault. And it can’t just be on women to fix this problem. There is a role for employers and elected officials here, too … A lot of us were raised with the belief that it’s not polite to talk about money. If we want to close the pay gap, it’s time to stop being polite and start talking about equal pay.” — The Root

15. Amy Poehler: actress, writer, and producer

“It’s never overreacting to ask for what you want and need.” — Amy Poehler’s Best Advice for Girls

Meredith Lepore|is the Deputy Editor of Ladders and can be reached at mlepore@theladders.com.