Women still earn less than men. 6 leaders explain what it takes to bridge the gap

The gender pay gap still exists. What needs to be done to close it?

It’s no secret that gender pay disparities are a legacy of structures and systems that have historically degraded and devalued the work that women have done. It makes sense, then, that it will have to be systems and structures like the media, government and corporations – not individuals – that must drive change.

But if the rate of violence against women does not improve, if the smearing of women in the media remains a natural thing, if our most elite institutions remain under their control. white men, how can we assert that women have equal dignity, ability, and security with men?

This is not true.

You can try to solve a stubborn social problem simply where it manifests itself. That feels reasonable and effective. But again and again we found that kind of solution was unreliable, often cosmetic, and often ephemeral. It requires a trip upstream to where the problems begin to understand the history, dynamics and inequality that have brought men and women to this point.

Of all the forces that work against the dignity of women, the media – and I mean Hollywood, the press, the gaming industry, etc. – most hinder the advancement of women. Word problems; images are significant and the more they are designed to be striking and memorable, the more frequently they are repeated, the greater their impact on mental, moral, intellectual formation and our politics.

Given the climate in which even the best of us are formed, how can we expect anything better than the pay gap we have?

Please, by all means, we must pass laws, enforce them and hold companies accountable. But while we’re at it, we must take the time to venture upstream and solve problems at their source. That’s where the real change lies.

Abigail Disney is a documentary filmmaker, co-founder of Fork Films, and host of the podcast “All Ears.”

Photo: Michael Angelo

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