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Priyanka Chopra Explains Why Women ‘Have to Work Way Harder’ Than Men for Equal Pay in Hollywood

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Priyanka Chopra is thriving in her career as she gets ready to launch her latest series, Citadel, on Amazon Prime. However, the 40-year-old actress is making sure that she’s getting the message across about the pay gap that still exists for women in Hollywood — even when you are at the top of your career. 

“I don’t think it’s [just] in this industry,” she told Yahoo Entertainment. “We happen to be entertainers, so the media’s interested in writing [about] what we have to talk about. But if you talk about business or in any industry, women have to work quite a lot harder to prove their [worth], especially in boardrooms or in positions of power. They have to work way harder to be able to stand shoulder to shoulder with a guy.”

She and co-star Richard Madden earn the same paycheck, but Chopra admitted that the “jaded” side of her after “20 years of trying this conversation” almost got in the way of making that happen. Her agents suggested they ask for equal pay and after consulting with Amazon Studios’ chief Jennifer Salke, they achieved that goal.

‘Citadel’ on

The ease of contract negotiations made Chopra ponder why it was different this time around. “I couldn’t help but wonder, ‘Did this happen so easily because the head of the studio was a female?’ Because when women are in positions where they make decisions, they think about creating opportunity for other women,” she explained. “And that is why it’s so important to create opportunity and push women to be in positions of power because it changes the game for another one.” She believes that Salke’s involvement made the pay parity conversation “so easy” and has inspired Chopra to speak up not only on equal pay issue but also about giving women positions in power to help initiate meaningful changes in Hollywood.

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