WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, progressives mark “Equal Pay Day” as a way to push for more government action to ensure “equity” for women. Instead of focusing on the misleading narrative about the average gender wage gap, Independent Women’s Forum is encouraging the public, employers, and policymakers to focus on and work towards an economy that benefits all women. 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) calculates a gross approximation of how much more men earn than women on average, it fails — as the BLS freely admits — to “control for many factors that can be significant in explaining earnings differences.”

Patrice Onwuka, director of the Center for Economic Opportunity at Independent Women’s Forum, released the following statement:

“Women should earn what they’re worth. Thankfully, they do in most cases. This Equal Pay Day, let’s start with an accurate picture of women’s pay rather than a distorted view based on the misleading statistic that suggests that women earn 83 cents on the dollar compared to men. The real pay gap is just a few cents when various factors and choices women and men make in the labor force are taken into account. Yet, left-leaning activists and lawmakers use this data point to falsely claim that there is widespread sex-based discrimination. They argue that Congress must fix the pay gap with federal legislation such as the so-called Paycheck Fairness Act. Sex-based discrimination is already illegal, new legislation is unnecessary at best and could backfire on women at worst.

“Pay is important, but women are not monolithic. Many prioritize other benefits, such as job security, workplace flexibility, or safe working conditions. The desire for flexibility was on the rise before 2020, but the pandemic has made flexible arrangements and opportunities, such as freelancing, even more coveted.

“Some women are stuck in lower-paying positions and vulnerable economic situations. We can help them and improve access to better opportunities by reducing regulatory barriers to work and entrepreneurship. 

“An economy that works for all women is one with ample opportunities to find the pay, flexibility, and fulfillment they desire.” 

Today at 2 p.m. EST, Independent Women’s Forum will host a virtual policy chat, “Equal Pay Day Every Day,” to explain the oft-cited wage gap data, why some proposed policy solutions are ill-advised, and how women can earn the benefits that they desire. The event will be moderated by Patrice Onwuka. Panelists include Hadley Heath Manning, Kelsey Bolar, Charlotte Whelan.