This post is was originally published on The Penny Hoarder
Catt Sadler, a long-time co-host of “E! News,” left the company on Tuesday, citing the ever-present, ever-frustrating gender wage gap.
Sadler recently learned that her male co-host, Jason Kennedy, was being paid nearly double what she had been earning for the last several years. After fruitless contract negotiations with the company, Sadler decided to leave the network. She had been there for 12 years.
Sadler learned that there was a discrepancy from an executive at E! Entertainment early in 2017. She thought the company would be willing to correct the issue when her contract came back up for negotiation, especially since she had taken on more responsibilities at the station over the last year.
“I inherited a lot more work and several more work hours, and I did all of that all year long without a single extra dime,” she said in a statement to the New York Times. “I did that in good faith because I’m a team player and I wanted both shows to succeed. I trusted that, come time to renegotiate, I would be compensated fairly for all of that work moving forward.”
Kennedy currently hosts five segments of “E! News” a week, plus the show titled “Live From the Red Carpet” which runs only a handful of times a year before the major awards shows.
Sadler, just before she left the company, was co-hosting seven shows a week — and that was after cutting back from the 10 she hosted for several months. At one point, she was hosting “Daily Pop” (a live two-hour show) five days a week while also hosting “E! News” most nights.
The company denied the allegation that it paid Sadler less because she is a woman, saying that it pays employees “fairly and appropriately based on their roles, regardless of gender.”
In an explanation of the decision posted to her website, Sadler states, “My team and I asked for what I know I deserve and were denied repeatedly.”
Sadler also noted in her statement that while the gender pay gap is shrinking, we still have a long way to go.
And it’s true: Depending on ethnicity, women make anywhere from 58 to 87 cents for every dollar that men make.
So what can women do to help close the wage gap even further?
For starters, be aware of the company you’re considering working for. Read reviews, learn its history and consider if it’s a company that shares your values.
Finally, it’s important to know what you’re worth. Do your research: Talk to others in your field, gather salary information online from sites like Payscale and make sure your employer is taking your history and experience into account — not just your previous pay.
Either way, it’s going to take time and it’s going to take work. It’s going to require people stepping up to shed light on the issue.
“[W]ithout our voices, how will we invoke lasting change?” Sadler questions on her website. “How can we make it better for the next generation of girls if we do not stand for what is fair and just today?”
Grace Schweizer is a junior writer at The Penny Hoarder.