Courtney Brooks: We should follow Queen B’s lead

aBeyonce Knowles-Carter, more commonly known by “Queen B,” does more than just slay every red carpet, award show performance, or football halftime show; she speaks up for equal pay for men and women and we should be following her lead.

The idea of gender equity is a myth, a marketing ploy that attempts to hide the fact that women are still being treated as lesser beings than men. As of 2014, female workers made only 79 cents for every dollar male workers made, resulting in a 21 percent gender pay gap. The Institute for Women’s Policy Research predicted that if we continue at the rate we are going, we won’t completely close the gender pay gap until 2059!

It’s true that the fact that women may work fewer hours or have to take time off for motherhood may contribute to the gender pay gap, but unlike many men, their job doesn’t stop the second they get home from work. On top of having to go the extra mile just to be recognized by men in the work force, they have to raise a family and keep a household running; if anything, they should be paid more not less!

In her essay published on The Shriver Report, Beyonce brilliantly reminds us that for humanity to continue, we need both men and women, we are equally important to each others existence and should be treated as such. Combatting the gender pay gap begins with children and teaching boys from the start the rules of equality and encouraging girls to recognize their right to respect.

Another contributing factor to the gender pay gap is due to the fact that 66 percent of women don’t know how to or feel comfortable negotiating their salaries or asking for a raise. Women fear that doing such will result in coming across as too pushy or losing the job offer, so instead they settle. Ultimately, this does more damage, because it allows the problem to persist.

bCurrently, there are some companies that are making strives towards gender equality, including Salesforce, Apple, Intel, Gap, and most recently, aerospace tech company, SpaceX. Last month, Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX, stated that, “I was asked today if we’ll audit pay… we will do that.” Though the list is small, these companies are paving the way for closing the gender pay gap and hopefully more will follow suit.

Beyonce said it best: “We need to reshape our own perceptions of ourselves. We have to step up as women and take the lead.”

The first steps toward closing the gap is acknowledging that it exists. The second step is doing something about it! If you have fallen victim to the gender pay gap, take a look at these tips from Forbes magazine on how to ask for a raise.


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