The actress, Patricia Arquette has once again spoken out against the gender inequality in Hollywood and the film industry.
Following on from her now famous, Oscar’s acceptance speech earlier this year, Arquette said, “It wasn’t all about actresses – it actually also revealed that [in] other departments there was also great wage disparity – editors and sound mixers and all kinds of different things where women were paid less than men.”
In February this year, the actress used her speech as an opportunity to raise awareness of the disparity between the pay of women stars and their male counterparts.
During her award for Best Female Actress, she said, “to every woman who gave birth, to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation, we have fought for everybody else’s equal rights. It’s our time to have wage equality once and for all and equal rights for women in the United States of America.”
Speaking to the BBC’s Sam Asi, Arquette spoke of what had happened since the Oscars; “After my speech, I went somewhere and a sound mixer ran up to me and hugged me so hard and she said, ‘Oh my god, my boss called me and gave me a raise the next day. I’d been making so much less than my male co-workers for so long.”
Since then California has also announced a New Fair Pay Act, effective from January next year, which forces employers to justify their reasoning behind wage differences of those undertaking similar work.
Arquette continued, “Now if women take action, the company has to prove that they were not discriminating against them. Meaning they have to say to the women, ‘No we paid you less because you don’t have a diploma, or you sell less of this product, or you’ve worked for us for a shorter time – they have to show a tangible reason why they can pay this woman less than her white male counterpart in the same job. So that’s a drastic difference.”
The BBC’s interview was a part of their ‘100 Women 2015’ campaign, in which they showcase inspiring stories and raise the profile of women across a two-week period.
Those named by the BBC include celebrities and well-known women such as actress Hilary Swank and the leader of the Women’s Equality Party, Sophie Walker. Alongside these females are refugees, activists, sport stars and entrepreneurs.