I have shared parts of this video multiple times on Twitter but today I thought I’d share the entire interview. No discussion of women and equality of opportunity and pay is complete without discussing Black women. All Black women. Everyday Black women. But folks tend to take more notice when celebrities bring up a topic. I can’t think of any more we’ll known, celebrated and talented celebrity to illustrate this issue than Viola Davis.
“If I’m the Black Meryl Streep, pay me Meryl Streep money.” I cringe at that comment because Ms. Davis is more than worthy of being paid top dollar without being compared to a White actress. Yet, here we are. And if SHE isn’t getting paid what she’s worth, just imagine what it’s like for the rest of us who haven’t won Oscar, Emmy and Tony awards. The rest of us who toil away in office jobs, working hard, never winning awards or having our faces on the big or small screen. Ms. Davis also said something along the lines of, if white women are getting paid half of what men are getting paid, black women are getting paid a fraction of that. Yep.
So on this International Women’s Day, as we recall, relive and remember the greatness and sacrifices of the women who’ve come before us – The Ida B. Wellses, the Shirley Chisholms, the Marian Andersons, the Madame C. J. Walkers, the mamas and aunties and grandmamas and foster mamas – we must also remember that we still have a long way to go in this fight. One of the greatest actresses of our time – not black actresses, actresses, – still has to fight to get paid what she’s worth. In 2018, HR folks are discussing using ‘blind resumes’ so hiring managers aren’t influenced by gender or racial biases.
Karen vs. Ken.
Karen vs. Keisha.
Harvard vs. Howard.
Glass ceilings still exist. Boards and Executive teams are still overwhelmingly white and male. The gender pay gap is very real.* This must end. Run us our coins!