As part of a series to mark Equal Pay Day, Moneyish asked some prominent women to share their thoughts and experiences around equal pay. Read more here.

Work twice as hard to get half as much.

That’s what I was taught growing up. I remember my mother saying, “Don’t call me on your work phone, go to a pay phone to check in on me,” because she knew that making personal calls could cost me my job. Or she would say things like, “Don’t call in sick. It’s Monday; go in first and let them send you home,” because she knew they would think, as a woman of color, I was taking a long weekend.

When I began a career in TV production in August 1990 it was a big enough deal to be a woman doing that job, but the fact that I was a black person in that environment was a huge deal. I didn’t have the luxury of asking questions like ‘How much money?’ I was more focused on ‘I’m a black woman, so I have to get my foot in the door.’ My rate was what it was. I was usually one of a handful of women and the only black on the entire crew.

I’d heard from other women that they thought they were paid less — though the numbers weren’t always transparent to them. And I had an accountant friend who, when doing people’s taxes, would marvel at men and women and people of color having the same job and the disparity in their income. So in 1993, when I began beauty products company Carol’s Daughter from my Brooklyn kitchen, diversity and equal pay were just part of the mix.

I have never paid a man more than a woman to do the same job, and my company’s executive team is full of women and men with all different skin colors—and hair types, for that matter.

Today as a leader in the world of beauty under L’Oreal, a public commitment has been made to support pay equity. The company aligned with the UN GlobalCompact as a signatory to the Women’s Empowerment Principles. We were original signatories to the White House Pledge for Equal Pay and currently are working with the Employers for Pay Equity to drive pay equality for all. I am proud to now be a part of a company with this level of commitment.