"I went to my boss at the time and I said, 'everybody needs a raise,'" she continued.
After Winfrey's boss questioned why the women needed raises, he told her, "You're only girls. They're a bunch of girls, what do they need more money for?"
The year was 1986 and Winfrey had worked her way up from the start of her career as a news anchorwoman at 19 years old, a position in which she said she never felt completely at ease.
"Everyone thought that being a news anchorwoman was the end-all be-all job. And even I thought that before I got the job, but it was very unsettling to me," Winfrey told Time. "I never felt comfortable in my own skin. It never felt authentic to me. I always felt like I had a pretend voice when I went on the air."
While reporting in the field for television, Winfrey noted that unlike her other peers, she had a tendency to empathize with the people she interviewed. As one of the youngest employees on staff, her compassion would instead get her in trouble with her bosses and lead to a demotion.
But 10 years later, Winfrey would run a talk show that "really freed" her and allowed her to be herself: "The Oprah Winfrey Show."