Being named to TIME Magazine‘s list of the 100 most influential people is nothing short of a big deal. And when Nicki Minaj earned a spot of the elite list, she used her platform to make a statement on equal pay.
According to The Huffington Post, Minaj told the magazine that working in the music industry thus far has taught her a lot about how to command the respect she deserves. “One thing I learned along the way in business,” she said in the interview, “is the necessity to be unapologetic about asking for how much money you deserve.”
But don’t think she has only recently become interested in attaining equal pay; instead, the rap star has always been a proponent of the cause.
“At a very early stage in my rap career, I was making six figures for shows,” she said. “If I heard there was another rapper making that, I thought, ‘you know what? I get out there and demand or command a crowd. I get out there and make my fans happy. I get out there and give a real show. I want that, too.’ And I pushed myself to be better with my showmanship, but I also decided, you know what? I want to be compensated well.”
While Minaj has never been shy about speaking up for herself in business negotiations, she believes many women are often hesitant about advocating on their own behalf.
“I think women have the tendency to feel that they shouldn’t ask to be compensated as much as a man doing the same exact thing,” she told TIME.
But, she said, this shouldn’t hold women back: “If you know you’re great at what you do, don’t ever be ashamed to ask for the top dollar in your field.”