LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - In an online essay Academy Award–winning actress Jennifer Lawrence opens up about the pay gap in Hollywood. An issue that many women face today.
Some local business women in East Texas have taken complete control over their pay and said their bridging the gender gap, which is a rewarding feeling.
"It makes me feel good because I put in a lot of time and effort over the years personally," Bonnie Dowdy, Music World Owner said. "I developed my own abilities and my own knowledge of owning my own business."
Setting up shop wasn't easy for one Teresa Stokes, who admitted that she was skeptical at first.
"I had to jump out and try," Teresa Stokes, Mar Teres owner said. "I didn't know if I would make it until I tried."
Still in the new millennium women in Texas make about 79% of what their male counter parts earn.
"Well it's really sad to me," Stokes said. "If they both have equal education, equal training or the equal job then why wouldn't they be paid equivalent?"
Which is why Lawrence was upset when she found out how much her male American Hustle co-stars made. When it came down to negotiate her pay she says quote "I didn't want to seem "difficult" or "spoiled."
That is something many East Texas business women can agree is hard to do.
"Someone came in and tried to talk me down on some prices that were marked and I said have you looked at the prices on that," Dowsy said. "That is extremely low that's lower than it should be. I said I really don't feel comfortable doing that."
"I think a lot of it is how people view women," Stokes said. "That yes, they can be firm and they can request, but sometimes we're viewed as sometimes not being assertive. Some people are just more assertive then others."
Owning and running a local business can be hard. Stokes and Dowdy agree that women should simply go for it.
"Be brave just jump in there, you can do it," Dowdy said. "There is a lot of support in this community with the chamber of commerce, with the Angelina College with the small business associations, just do it."
"Go for it, you'll never know until you try, Stokes said. "If it's a dream you have, you're going to put more into it because it's going to be yours."
Here is the link to Lawrence's essay.