Catt Sadler on equal pay: 'The next generation gets it'

catt salder on equal pay day
Catt Sadler talks with LIVESTRONG about how women can achieve financial equality. (Image: LUNA Bar)

In honor of Equal Pay Day, Catt Sadler met with LIVESTRONG as part of our Stronger Women interview series to discuss what women can do to achieve financial equality.

Sadler bravely resigned from her job at E! News in December 2017 when she discovered that her male co-host, Jason Kennedy, was making double her salary. In the months that followed, the 43-year-old’s story has become an undeniable force in the equal pay movement, and instead of just talking the talk, Sadler has been walking the walk. She recently joined forces with LUNABar.com and the American Association of University Women (AAUW) in order to support salary negotiation resources for women.

Now, through April 14, 2018, LUNA is offering a 20 percent discount on all LUNA Bars sold on LUNABar.com, and will match the discount amount with a donation to AAUW, up to $100,000. The money raised will help fund salary negotiation resources for women.​

A recent survey found that just 30 percent of women feel comfortable negotiating their salaries — that is compared to a whopping 60 percent of men. “Negotiation is one of the ways we can make a difference,” she points out. “It’s in our control. If we can learn how to do it a little better we can shrink this wage gap.”

Just how large is this wage gap? Sadler points out that white women are making a paltry 80 cents on the dollar when compared to their white male colleagues. And the gap is even greater for women of color.

Watch Sadler discussing financial inequality with LIVESTRONG here:

“Women need tangible tools,” Sadler explains to LIVESTRONG. “What can I do today to improve my salary, to make more money, to take home more pay for my family?”

Some of the tools Sadler has learned include coming up with an expected salary number first before meeting with a potential employer and role-playing negotiation scenarios with a friend. “There are so many different ways that women don’t inherently know,” she says, adding that the AAUW also has online tools to help. “You have to have that information and power, and then you have to act on it. It’s more than just talking the talk, you have to walk the walk.”

And that is something the mother of two clearly did when she resigned from her job at E! News right before awards season kicked off. Debra Messing and Eva Longoria rallied around the actress, using the red carpet at the 2018 Golden Globes as a platform to discuss her pay dispute. Sadler was overwhelmed by Hollywood’s response. “It was mind-blowing, to say the least,” she reveals about Messing’s “incredibly unexpected” support. “I was super shocked. I am pretty sure I cried. I was just living my experience and telling my truth.”

It was then that she realized that her experience was just one small example of something much greater. “It really dawned on me then: It wasn’t my story, it was so many women’s story,” she continues. “What they were trying to convey is that I am just a symbol of so many women that maybe don’t have a voice but are going through the same injustices. That’s when I was like, ‘We are onto something here. This is a movement, and this is just the beginning.’”

There are even a few things men can do to promote the movement. “Use your voice, even maybe in the workplace,” she urges. “Go knock on your manager’s door and say, ‘Why does this inequality exist, and what can I do to help change that for my colleague that I respect and is doing the same job?’”

Sadler is very optimistic about the future of the workplace, especially because the next generation — including her own two sons — “gets it.” “The more conversations we have like this, the more outlets that are doing something about it and the more companies that get involved. The future is bright!” she says.

We are so in awe of Sadler’s courage and totally inspired by her message. Keeping walking the walk, girl!

Catt Sadler was interviewed by Bryce Christian.

See more of LIVESTRONG's Stronger Women interviews.

About the Author

LEAH GROTH is a freelance writer for LIVESTRONG.COM, a leading healthy lifestyle website with over 32 million unique monthly viewers. In addition to LIVESTRONG, her writing has appeared in Fit Pregnancy, Babble, xoJane and Living Healthy. Follow Leah on Instagram at @leahgroth and Twitter too.

What Do YOU Think?

Are you inspired by Catt Sadler’s story? Have you experienced inequality in pay compared to your male co-workers? Do you think things are changing for the better? Let us know what you think in the comments!

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