Issa Rae‘s HBO comedy “Insecure” has been praised for its almost all-female writing staff and its complex, groundbreaking storylines about flawed female characters. But that doesn’t mean that gender inequality doesn’t exist on set. In an interview with LinkedIn, the 33-year-old opened up about her own experience with pay disparity, and how she’s encouraging women on “Insecure” to ask for raises after seeing men do it.
In a chat with comedian Chelsea Handler, Rae explained that when she was a corporate employee, she never asked for raises. Now that she’s an employer herself, the experience led her to want to empower women at her company to ask for higher pay, especially after Rae began receiving pay-raise requests from her male employees.
“Working in the corporate world, I never asked for a raise,” Rae said. “As an employer of men and women I’ve seen men have asked for their work and have had no issue and a lot of the women have not, so I make sure to empower them to ask … keeping everything transparent is so important.”
The writer and director credited her newfound empowerment to conversations she had with other powerful black women in entertainment, like Ava Duvernay and Shonda Rhimes, early in her career. Now, she’s realized that there’s more of an outlet to speak out and she no longer has to be afraid to voice her opinion.
“This is the time where everyone has a voice,” Rae said. “There are so many platforms dedicated to giving the average person a voice, so you can speak out … in a moment you can be seen and heard. This is an opportune time if you have something to say to speak out, and magical things can happen.”
We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. Props to Rae for raising her voice and looking out for the women who work for her.