Closing The Gap

Kate Hudson: Having raised awareness about gender equality issues, now is the time to implement action

6 ways to convince someone the gender pay gap is real

The spotlight on women's rights has remained brighter than ever in recent months, with a whole host of issues taking center stage: from sexual misconduct and pay disparity, to the need to get more women into senior roles in business.

Some of the actions that have helped keep these matters in the public eye include the Me Too movement, protests and Time's Up, an initiative that tackles harassment and sexism. For actress Kate Hudson — who's contributed to the defense fund of Time's Up and has spoken out on women's rights — she says it is now time to implement change.

Speaking to "CNBC Conversation," the actress and co-founder of athleisure brand Fabletics said there was something about our current culture which was "really disheartening" when discussing the scrutiny of women.

Hudson added, however, that it appears as though the backlash against a whole host of issues facing women are starting to take shape: from how women are depicted physically, to fighting sexual misconduct and disparity between pay and leadership positions.

So what more needs to be done? According to the actress, "it's all about action implementation now."

"You can have the idea. You can throw your fists in the air. You can keep fighting, keep marching. I think at the end of the day (though), you really need to start implementing and actively starting to put things forward," she told CNBC's Tania Bryer.

Kate Hudson
George Pimentel | WireImage | Getty Images

"I really do believe it all, the legal system and government is where we make those changes," Hudson added, explaining why it's important to get behind certain projects.

Examples the actress suggested included the Time's Up's defense fund, which provides a forum for women who may not be able to afford representation, and getting laws passed to improve workplace morale.

Every company board should be 50% women

As co-founder of Fabletics, Hudson is particularly focused on having better representation of women on company boards.

"It actually does send a shiver up my spine, it actually makes me kind of angry that there aren't enough women on boards," said Hudson.

"(There are) all these large companies that are in charge of very big decisions — and it's just a boys' club. And with that, you don't have an equal balance of understanding the culture inside of those businesses, and that's where women are working. They need to be represented up at the top."

Kate Hudson and guests celebrating the Fabletics Spring Collection on May 1, 2014 in Los Angeles, California
Stefanie Keenan | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images

Last year, Deloitte's fifth edition of its "Women in the boardroom: A global perspective" report showed that 15 percent of all board seats globally were taken up by women. While this percentage figure was 3 percent higher than Deloitte's previous report, published in 2015, it's still far from equal representation.

"To me it should be half and half (at) every board — but I mean even to get it to a quarter would be an achievement," Hudson said.

Getting more women into senior roles is showing signs of gradual improvement, with companies publishing gender pay reports to highlight how much they pay each sex on average.

In fact, in the U.K., it's mandatory for businesses with more than 250 employees to publish a report this year, and the legal requirement has got more companies speaking out about how more senior positions need to be filled by women.

While more needs to be done on various levels to ensure equality is met, the actress told CNBC that the time for action was "exciting," as it will hopefully spur change for the foreseeable future.

"Now it's action time. And it's fun," said Hudson.

"It's an exciting time because so much of the veil has been lifted, so much is being revealed, it's going to continue to be revealed — and hopefully with that, people will follow suit and support equality."

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6 ways to convince someone the gender pay gap is real