Lisa Wilkinson sensationally left the Today Show earlier this year amid claims she was upset over a gender pay gap.
And now the actress, 58, has opened up on the ongoing debate, even claiming it could be contributing to a growing trend in homelessness – particularly for “women aged over 55”.
Speaking to the Daily Telegraph‘s TV Guide, she said: “The gender pay gap is one of the major reasons that women over 55 are now the fastest growing group in the homeless sector in this country. And if we don’t all take a stand, those numbers will only grow.”
Wilkinson admitted the response she has received from fans following her departure from the show has been surprising – leaving her very “grateful”.
In fact, she said she’s had both men and women stopping her in the street, thanking her for speaking up, and she added: “[They’ve] told me what they believe having this issue on the front page has meant for the next generation.”
The star, who was fighting to earn the same pay as former co-host Karl Stefanovic, has since moved to rival network Ten for an undisclosed amount of money.
Now she has called on other women to speak up, as they have a “role to play”, and she told the publication: “Unconscious – and conscious – bias when it comes to lesser pay, conditions and career advancement for women is still happening in so many industries.”
It comes after Wilkinson opened up about how she came to make her decision to leave Today on Channel Nine.
“When you feel that there’s a pattern being repeated that’s when you have to take a stand,” The Australian reports the mother-of-three saying at a business breakfast in Melbourne recently.
“You draw a line in the sand, you work out this far and no further, and I got to that line in the sand and said, ‘this far and no further’. And it was a really simple decision in the end.”
It's been a helluva week. I'm only sorry that I never got the chance to say goodbye to you all…the incredibly supportive, engaged, opinionated, clever and wonderfully diverse audience of Today.Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the fun years we shared, and for welcoming me into your homes each morning. It has been an absolute privilege. Lisa.xxx PS. This pic is from Karl's and my very first publicity shoot way back in May 2007.Look at us, we were babies!!
She added that while the discussions were “tough”, she knew she had to have them.
“I had to be true to myself and if it did reignite the conversation, I’m thrilled because I just didn’t want to live a lie anymore,” she said.
“I’ve spoken out on the gender pay gap publicly prior to this and I just decided this far and no further … As women we find it hard to work out what our value is, and perhaps my greatest crime is that I worked out what my value was, and I decided to take a stand on that and I feel really pleased I did.”
She went on to explain that women are often given a stereotype that they have to be thankful for anything that comes their way, but hinted that she and many others in the industry are beyond that.