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Women business owners speak to knowing your worth and speaking up to help close the gender pay gap

Womens equality day August 26, 2021
Posted at 10:24 PM, Aug 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-27 01:51:05-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Women's Equality Day serves as a reminder to many just how far we have come on the way to equity for all. But for some, it brings up feelings of how far we must go.

"I would think speaking up for ourselves actually I think just standing up for ourselves and what we know how to do," said Michelle Rainey founder of the Black Business Dollar Initiative.

Rainey said that knowing what you're worth and asking for your worth is one of the best ways to eliminate the gender pay gap.

According to a recent study by business.org despite the increase in the number of loans for women-owned businesses and initiatives to equalize pay the national gap for yearly earnings between men and women is 18%.

In California that number falls between 12-13% meaning the average female salary is about 50 thousand and the average male salary is about 57 thousand for the same job.

Megan Rios from the national association of women business owners said that this organization exist because, without it, women would still lack some rights.

"In 1975 by a group of women who couldn't get any credit unless they went to their husband or their brother or their father. They were able to come together and create a bill called HR5050 in which women were able to get some capital and some credit," said Rios.

Raji Brar, chief operating officer for Countryside Market and Restaurants said that the needle will never be moved until we all work together.

"It's on all of us to make sure women are included. We need men right there with us buying into it and helping along the way too," said Brar.

Brar said that when she first graduated college, she could see that there was not only a gender pay gap but a position of authority gap meaning she did not see women in positions of power.

"My resume has to be three times as strong as that of a man for the same type of opportunity," said Brar.

This is something that also resonated with Ora Evette executive director at She Power. She feels it’s important to uplift women through words.

"Keep looking in the mirror motivating yourself. Reminding yourself, your strength your power and don't stop cause something is going to break either you or them and the thing is we want them to break give us our money we deserve it,” said Evette.