The former E! host publicly left the network after working there for 12 years, upon learning that her male co-host Jason Kennedy was earning almost double her salary - something that the network wasn’t willing to rectify.
The support that Catt received from men and women across the world was unprecedented, and with the backing of A-list women who took to the red carpet to bring attention to Catt’s situation, she soon became the face of the fight for equal pay.
But being a poster girl against the the gender pay gap isn’t enough for Catt, she’s turning her attention to empowering other women in similar positions and making active immediate change.
In a recent interview with InStyle, the 43-year-old gave her practical advice on negotiating pay - and from someone who walked away from her dream job to prove her worth, we’re definitely listening.
‘I’m well aware that the majority of women can't just walk away from their job tomorrow like I did,’ Catt explained. ‘That's just not realistic. But if you’re deadlocked and your boss isn't moving and you’re going to essentially become another statistic, it's about engineering your exit strategy. And on top of that, because of the current political climate, there are so many rallies, organisations, and marches that you can turn to. I would encourage women to get involved in the fight because together we are all stronger.’
She continued: ‘Culturally we’re taught as women to think, “Great, I got the job I wanted” instead of “What are other people making in the marketplace?” or “What can I bring to the table to sweeten the pot a little bit?” Another key thing is putting down the number first. A lot of us wait to see what they’re offering, but we should be saying, “Here's what I would like.” Especially in the beginning of your career, you want to start off as high as possible because then you’re more likely to continue to grow that number. It’s harder to make big salary leaps down the line.’
But how do we actually do that? According to Catt it’s all about asking the hard questions.
‘It’s okay to declare ownership of your professional future by saying, “Do you believe in equal pay?”’, she stated. ‘Or “If I take this job, can I be sure that a male in the same position, with the same experience, and the same education, and the same work load, will be on par with my salary?” It's okay to own that before you even step foot into a new company.’
Luckily we won’t have long to wait for a dose of Catt Sadler’s gender pay inspiration - with the former host teaming up with Jennifer Lawrence for a new project tackling this very issue.
We officially cannot wait.
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Jenny Proudfoot is an award-winning journalist, specialising in lifestyle, culture, entertainment, international development and politics. She has worked at Marie Claire UK for seven years, rising from intern to Features Editor and is now the most published Marie Claire writer of all time. She was made a 30 under 30 award-winner last year and named a rising star in journalism by the Professional Publishers Association.