Patricia Arquette says African-American, Native American and Latina women are suffering “economic suppression.”
The actress, who made a call for equal pay part of her Oscar acceptance speech last year, spoke at the White House’s United State of Women Summit on Tuesday.
“A typical African American, Native American and Latina women earn .64, .59 and .54 respectively for every dollar paid to a typical man,” said the actress. “That is economic suppression.”
She called on corporations to introduce equal pay policies rather than wait for Congress to pass a paycheck fairness legislation.
She began with a tribute to victims in the Orlando shooting.
“Of course we are all here with heavy hearts and my prayers go out to all the survivors, the families and friends of those who were lost in Orlando,” she said.
The actress also honored an American “shero,” activist Lily Ledbetter, for challenging the pay gap between men and women. “I along with women across the country are forever indebted to her for her dedication and resolve to fight for what is right,” said Arquette.
“We also recognize that the work is far from being finished,” she said.
The United State of Women Summit kicked off with a powerful speech by Vice President Joe Biden, who spoke on sexual violence. The summit includes speakers ranging from Kerry Washington to Warren Buffet, spanning many industries.
“If we’re serious about equality we can achieve this together,” she said.