Equal pay is an issue that affects everyone.
You can be a woman working at a mid-sized office in the middle of nowhere or a woman working on a major network TV show, it doesn't matter. The chances are still high that you are making considerably less money than your male counterparts for doing exactly the same job.
It's an epidemic — and one we should not stand for a second longer.
That's why I was so stoked when I learned that the cast of the smash hit sitcom The Big Bang Theory' was teaming up for equal pay among their own cast.
The five original cast members on the show have agreed to take pay cuts so that the later additions, but series regulars, Mayim Bialik and Melissa Rauch, can be paid higher salaries.
The cast members have agreed to lower their per episode by $100,000 a piece, which would bring up Bialik and Rauch to $450,000 an episode.
It's not just a small gesture among an extremely close cast, it's a whopping number that makes a massive difference. The original cast members each make a reported $1 million dollars an episode, while Bialik and Rauch each make $300,000 an episode.
Would I fall over into a swoon if I made anything CLOSE to $300,000? Yes, very much. But if $1 million was the average income of the rest of my co-workers I would feel embarrassed, awkward, and frankly, significantly under appreciated.
It doesn't matter what you earn, equal pay still matters.
Money doesn't define us. It doesn't make us better people. But being paid on the same level as your peers is a unifying force. It's an equalizer.
It's not the first time equal pay has raised it's head in Hollywood, Emmy Rossum of Shameless fought for it just months ago.
Seeing others doing the same work, especially when it's women watching men make the same amount, can hurt your self-esteem. It's like the world looking on and saying, "we see you working hard, but since you have a vagina, we're going to have to tax you."
Because getting your period isn't tax enough.
Bialik and Rauch aren't yet making the same amount of money as their peers, but the support of the rest of the cast has made it clear that they are supported and appreciated for the work they do each week, and that they will not sit idly by while this disparity among them still exists.
We should ALL take this as a cue. Can we all offer to give up our salaries to support our colleagues? No, but that doesn't mean we can't speak up when we see an injustice and try to do something about it.