Businesses in Britain with more than 250 employees have been required to report pay differences between male and female workers.
Dame Emma said: “Publishing figures is the first step. It’s a forensic way of looking at how women are second-class citizens and I really appreciate that because it’s not emotional.
“This is the fact: This person does the same work for less money and that’s just wrong.”
She also said she feels more “powerful” now than she did in her younger years because she has stopped caring about what others think of her.
Dame Emma also spoke of her joy she found with her second husband, Greg Wise.
She met him in 1995 on the set of Sense and Sensibility, for which she won the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar, shortly after her divorce from Sir Kenneth Branagh.
September’s Good Housekeeping is on sale on August 1.