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A Lesson from New York City: Women Are Still Fighting For Pay Equality

January 29, 2020

Wednesday Wisdom, Inspiration for Women in Business, Women Entrepreneurs, Female Athletes

The press release went like this:

Attending her fourth Women’s March, as a proponent of women’s pay equality, Tracy Chamberlain Higginbotham, Founder of Women TIES, serendipitously met five New York City anchorwomen who are suing the cable giant Charter Communications over age and gender discrimination.

Chamberlain Higginbotham was in front of a New York City Women’s March stage on January 18, 2020, where five women Kristen Shaughnessy, Roma Torre, Amanda Farinacci, Vivian Lee, and Jeanine Ramirez of Spectrum News NY1 were speaking. Ranging from the age of 40 to 61 years old, the women shared their professional roadblocks by their employer to replace them with younger women with less experience in the news industry. Unlike these women, their male counterparts at the station thrived and maintained their positions.

“I’m not against the young women in our organization at all, many of them have been supportive; but nobody gets younger so it isn’t fair as aging professional female reporters, we are disregarded or replaced while aging men in our industry are not,” Shaughnessy stated in a phone interview. ‘The New York 5’, as they are known, filed a lawsuit in 2019 claiming Charter Communications reduced their airtime and anchoring slots, excluded them from promotional campaigns and disregarded their concerns. A June 19, 2019 article in the New York Times featuring the women states the anchorwomen felt their career trajectories were altered so they seek damages through the lawsuit.

Shaughnessy stated, “Television news is a system, like so many others, designed by men in positions of power who cannot see beyond a woman’s aging face. The double standard that allows male anchors and reporters to go grey with gravitas while sidelining its veteran women has to stop.”

Chamberlain Higginbotham provided testimony to the New York State Labor Commissioner in 2017 about the need for a pay equality law for women and has represented women in the #MeToo movement after a sexual harassment incident in the workplace in her early 20s in Philadelphia. “I immediately bonded with Kristen and her co-anchors about their plight in the workplace and wanted to share their story in Central and Upstate New York because gender and pay discrimination still exists for women of all ages,” Chamberlain Higginbotham explains.

Shaughnessy further stated, “We have to keep this story alive because change won’t happen for us or other women unless we do.” By the reaction of the crowds at the 2020 Women’s March, The New York 5’s story won’t diminish as long as they and other women keep sharing their personal experiences about pay and gender discrimination so one day women can achieve justice in the workplace.

NY5 Photo by Jeenah Moon The New York Times

Today’s Wednesday Wisdom is to motivate you to ensure you receive pay equal to male industry counterparts, to stand up for pay equality, and women’s rights. Learn how to do a press release like the one above so you can also promote your company too. As Women’s History Month approaches, get involved with something that turns your heart even pinker than it is now.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 30, 2020 12:04 pm

    It is a shame that Equal Pay is still an issue in 2020. But what I find even more troubling are those that continue to believe that it doesn’t exist! They protest that women are not paid at a lesser rate for doing the same job and that other factors are at play instead (time off for having/raising children, men go into the job with more experience, the work itself is not “equal”). I find this very disheartening and downright scary. No wonder this is still an issue!


  2. January 30, 2020 12:28 pm


    I totally agree with you. It is the main equality issue I fight for because of its impact not only on women but their entire families who end up making less money. It makes no sense in this era. Keeping this subject alive and in view of people is really vital and a reason I wanted to share the situation with The New York 5 to help them!



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