Contact: Louise Filkins
Phone: (202) 419-1820

WASHINGTON, DC — The Independent Women’s Forum decries presidential candidate John Kerry’s use of the misleading statistics about the wage gap.

“This statistic ignores many factors that affect a worker’s take-home pay,” says Carrie Lukas, director of policy at the Independent Women’s Forum. “Women take more time out of the workforce than men to care for their families — obviously that is going to affect their pay compared to workers who work continuously.”

Several recent studies that took factors like years of education and experience into account found a considerably smaller wage gap between men and women. One such study found on childless men and women aged 27 to 33 found that women in that group earned 98 cents for very every male dollar.

“Women often have different criteria than men in evaluating job opportunities. In one survey of working women three-quarters reported that flexibility is “very important” when considering a job,” said Lukas. “Women are sometimes willing to trade dollars for flexibility and time off, which is a choice they should be able to make.”

Certain feminist organizations have proposed to “fix” the wage gap by requiring businesses to report to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission their process for setting and adjusting wages.

“If the wage gap is a product of women’s choices, then attempts to “fix” the wage gap are going to backfire on women,” said Lukas. “Plans to have the government micromanage pay scales mean that many companies would likely simply no longer offer the very flexibility that is so important to many women. That would be a step in the wrong direction.”

“It’s a shame that Senator Kerry is trying to convince women they are victims in order to win votes,” said Lukas. “Women shouldn’t fall for this tired line.”

The Independent Women’s Forum has written extensively on women and work place issues including Women’s Figures: An Illustrated Guide to the Economic Progress of Women in America.