Letters to the Editor do not reflect the editorial opinion of The Daily Free Press. They are solely the opinion of the author.
As a woman of the 21st century, preparing to enter the workforce, I found your article, “Students, city official discuss gender pay equality at town hall,” to be an important read for all female students.
As stated in the article, Massachusetts is one of only five states that has passed equal pay legislation. While this is an amazing step forward for the city of Boston and the state itself, it is still not enough. In your article, Megan Costello is quoted saying: “How can government go beyond policy and legislation? So much of this is not necessarily about legislation and policy, but it’s much more about social norms and culture.” The wage gap is a culture problem, therefore it needs to be solved at that level. While equal pay legislation across the nation would be ideal, it is still a far way off. Without forgoing the fight for this legislation, we need to also equip young women, much like those of Boston University, with the tools and confidence to advocate for themselves.
This gap can be decreased if individuals fight for equality. Emmy Rossum, star of the popular TV series “Shameless,” held out in renewing her contract until she was promised the same salary her male counterpart William H. Macy makes. We need more women like her.
In order to close the wage gap, society needs women to insist on being paid more. Young women entering the workforce need to start their careers knowing they deserve to earn the same as their male counterparts. While base salaries may not seem vastly different, by the time a woman is middle-aged, the gap is increased to 23 percent, totaling a $59,000 loss over her career.
It is widely known that women have a hard time asking for money for themselves. And if they are able to do so, many view them as greedy or selfish rather than assertive and self-assured. Therefore, women should practice phrasing the request as if they are asking money for someone else. If you were a single mother of three you would have no problem asking for money to put food on the table for your three children. Similarly, people would have a hard time denying this request.
I encourage the young women of Boston University to think of this issue not only as something that needs to be fixed in D.C., but as a personal problem that they can help amend.