Don’t tell Gloria Steinem that part of the reason for the pay gap is that women don’t negotiate. “That’s utter bulls***,” says the activist and author most recently of My Life on the Road. “It’s true that we should insist more than we do. But the reason we don’t insist is because inequality has been normalized.” Rather than blaming ourselves, we should be blaming the system—and sharing salary information and strategizing together, she adds.
Feeling stirred to create change? Here, Steinem’s words of encouragement to help you take on the pay gap, another cause important to you or an enduring dream:
“It can be frightening to do what you care about because it matters so much to you. So you have to trick yourself into starting…. When doing something that seems risky, I find it helpful to remember that not doing it will be worse. You’ll always wonder what would have happened if you had tried. It will haunt you. So even though you are afraid, it is better to proceed and fail than to not try at all…. In the end, success in life is contributing through your individual work to something that really matters to you and other people.”