I've worked in the theatre production business since before I could legally be paid to be there. I started in community theatre, worked on every middle and high school production I could get my hands on, and created my own major in college to continue this work. Primarily, I'm a theatre electrician and lighting designer. Occassionally I work as a production manager, and previously as a stage manager. Since it's been over ten years I can do a little bit of everything, and I've even taught professional development classes for middle and high school teachers. I've done lighting design for local professional dance companies, symphonies, musicals, and graduations. Six years ago the minimum I was ever paid was $15 an hour. Right now I'm thrilled to get any gig working for less pay.
There is a local theatre union in my city, IATSE. While I live in a right to work state, we follow most union rules and are all treated the same. Except that I've discovered that the "girls get less work calls" rumor is actually the truth. Guys with years less experience than me are getting more work offers than I am. Guys with a much smaller knowledge base are getting more work than I am. Therefore, they do make more money than I do.
Recently I found out that there was a huge work call for a famous rapper on tour. A friend of mine that I helped get into my city's theatres was asked to do the show, so he dropped a previous commitment I helped him get so he could go do the union-run concert with "his boys" (his words). So not only was I embarassed, I found out that the union preference is having a penis over having the most experience or hardest work ethic. What other evenings am I at home, bored, ready and eager to work, and not getting a call because I have a vagina and can't grow a caveman beard?