Olympian Allyson Felix wants to ‘completely’ change the gender pay gap and achieve ‘true equality’

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US statistics show that women are still paid less than men. Legendary Olympian Allyson Felix told CBS News that she wants the gender pay gap to change “completely.”

Women earn 83 cents for every dollar earned by men, according to 2021 figures from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. As the 11-time Olympic medalist pointed out that the United States women’s national soccer team had reached a $24 million deal over equal pay and equal working conditions as a major victory on the issue, she acknowledged that women in the workplace still face many obstacles.

“I feel like things are going in the right direction,” she told CBS News. “But we have a lot to catch up on – we’ve come a long way.”

“We’re talking about trying to push for real equality,” she added. “And so I think it’s kind of taking those baby steps, celebrating wins where we get them, but not losing sight of the ultimate goal, which is to completely change that.”

The Olympic Games-Tokyo 2020
Allyson Felix tackled the gender pay gap and achieved “true equality” for women.

Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images


A new study released Thursday looks at the impacts of when women say “no” at work. The study, commissioned by Pure Leaf Iced Tea, surveyed more than 1,800 women across the United States. She revealed that almost three out of four women think they will suffer a negative result if they say no, and two out of three do. Oe out of six women have lost their wages and one out of ten has been made redundant. Meanwhile, one in three women said they felt guilty after saying no to work.

In response to these findings, Felix announced Thursday that she is partnering with Pure Leaf and the SeekHer Foundation to launch the “No” Grants program, which supports women with short-term financial assistance if they experience life-threatening consequences. saying no at work. She said she hopes the women who study the program will make “mental health a priority” and “prioritize different things.”

Even with the help of grants, Felix admitted it’s “difficult to know when the right time is. [to say no] because it has a cost.

Standing up to an employer is a personal cause for the most decorated American athlete in US history. She fought her own battle with then-sponsor Nike in 2019 when, amid contract renegotiations, the sportswear giant allegedly put her down because she was pregnant. She wrote an editorial in The New York Times calling on Nike, which then changed its policy to ensure that a pregnant athlete’s salary could not be reduced during pregnancy and in the months following.

She encouraged women to be “able to speak this truth” and apply for the grants.

“Knowing the emotional toll and the fear and like the families who are really affected by it, and not wanting a woman to be in that position,” she said. “I feel like it’s a good starting point and being able to take a step in the right direction.”


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