Washington, D.C. — On this Equal Pay Day, let’s end the myth about the wage gap and put the power of information back into the hands of women.

Independent Women’s Forum (IWF) wants all women to have adequate protections in the workplace, but Equal Pay Day is misleading and not an accurate picture of how America works. And it’s especially out of touch during a crisis like COVID-19.

In this time of tremendous economic uncertainty and job loss, we shouldn’t try to convince women, or anyone, that they are victims of discrimination or bias.

Equal Pay Day is an occasion created by progressive activists who claim that it’s the day when American women finally earn enough to make up last year’s wage gap. But this is a false premise. It is based on Department of Labor statistics comparing the earnings of the average full-time working woman to that of a full-time working man. But it ignores all the factors that impact pay, like profession, number of hours worked, qualifications, and experience, all of which explain the overwhelming majority of these statistical differences in average pay.

The wage gap is not a measure of “equal pay for equal work” or a sign of discrimination’s role in the workplace. Pay discrimination is illegal in the United States thanks to the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Carrie Lukas, president of Independent Women’s Forum, said, “Equal Pay Day wrongly misleads women and girls into believing that pay discrimination is commonplace. It ignores their success in the workplace.” 

“Working women aren’t focused on these statistics and aren’t competing against men,” Lukas said. “The statistical wage gap would go down if American men all lost their jobs or had their hours slashed and earned less. But this would be terrible news for women, who want their husbands, fathers, sons, and partners to succeed.”

“Many women work in lower-paying professions, as these careers provide the flexibility they desire, and tend to work fewer hours. The bottom line is that men and women often have different priorities when it comes to work, and there is nothing wrong with that.”

“We are in this together. Women business owners, just like men, are working hard to keep their businesses running and prevent layoffs. This is no time to pit women and men against each other.”  

Learn more about the real drivers behind the wage gap from IWF’s takeaways document



Independent Women’s Forum is dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities.