WASHINGTON, D.C. Today is Equal Pay Day 2023, supposedly marking the number of days into the year that women must work in order to earn the same amount as men did in 2022. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average weekly earnings of women in full-time jobs were 83.1% of those for men (2021). 

Equal Pay Day falls one day earlier than in 2022, 10 days earlier than 2021, and one month earlier than in 2015. 

Patrice Onwuka, director of the Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO) at Independent Women’s Forum, issued the following statement:

“Equal Pay Day is a faux holiday based on a misleading statistic. For years women have been gaslighted to believe that the pay gap is proof of widespread gender pay discrimination. However, this 17-cent difference in pay found in this statistical comparison is uncontrolled, meaning that it does not take into account many different factors that impact pay such as number of hours worked, experience level, education, skill level, industry, and location. When such factors are controlled for, the pay gap shrinks to a penny by one measure. Whether and how women spend time in the workforce, especially during child-rearing years, also impacts their pay relative to men.   

“Women often trade higher pay for more work-life balance and flexibility. We should celebrate the fact that women have so many choices over their labor and are achieving rewarding, financially secure, and fulfilling careers. 

“Pay discrimination is already illegal thanks to the Equal Pay Act (1963) and the Civil Rights Act (1964). Congress will do nothing more to ensure equal pay by passing bills like the Paycheck Fairness Act. Worse, they may destroy flexible independent contracting work that women depend upon if they pass the anti-woman, pro-union Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act. 

“The workforce is innovating and creating abundant opportunities for working women, and incomes are rising. That‘s the trend we want to continue, nevermind cherry-picked, misleading statistics.” 

To learn more about the pay gap, check out 5 Myths To Bust About The Gender Pay Gap.

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.
Independent Women’s Forum’s Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO) aims to educate the public about how government policies impact people’s opportunities for economic development and upward mobility.