Contact: Louise Filkins
Phone: (202) 419-1820
WASHINGTON, DC — The Independent Women’s Forum denounces Senator Kerry’s misuse of statistics about the wage gap during his speech in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. IWF calls on the senator to instead support measures that would increase workplace flexibility like comp-time and flex-time.
“It is disappointing that Senator Kerry is dragging out misleading statistics to try to win women’s support,” says Nancy Pfotenhauer, president of the Independent Women’s Forum. “Some women experience discrimination, which needs to be addressed through legal channels. But to suggest that women regularly receive three-quarters of what men earn due to discrimination is just plain wrong.”
The Department of Labor regularly issues reports on the median wage of full-time working men and full-time working women, which shows that women earn about 76 percent of men’s earnings. However, this statistic does not take into account factors such as the worker’s years of experience, education, and occupation.
“Women often make different choices than men. Some women choose jobs that offer greater flexibility so that they can spend more time with their families,” said Pfotenhauer. “Many women are willing to trade more money for more flexibility. This is a choice that women should be able to make.”
Certain feminist organizations have supported proposals to “fix” the wage gap by requiring businesses to report to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission their process for setting and adjusting wages.
“Proposals to ‘fix’ the wage gap by having government micromanage pay scales could backfire on women. Many companies would likely simply no longer offer the very flexibility that many women want,” Pfotenhauer continued.
“Instead of fixating on this misleading statistic, Senator Kerry should focus on policies that will make it easier for women to balance work and family. When it comes to flex-time and comp-time, the Independent Women’s Forum actually encourages Senator Kerry to flip-flop and support these important policies that will give working women greater workplace flexibility,” Pfotenhauer added.