Fox guest dismisses the gender pay gap: “A lot of women” choose to make less money than men because they want “more flexibility”  

Patrice Onwuka: “A lot of the pay gap is driven by choices women make in the workplace. ... And when you actually control for them, they minimize to just a few cents.”  

From the May 21 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends

Video file

AINSLEY EARHARDT (CO-HOST): Do you like the plan? 

PATRICE ONWUKA (INDEPENDENT WOMEN'S FORUM): I don't. I think Senator Harris wants to wave a magic wand and see the pay gap disappear. But she doesn't recognize that a lot of the pay gap is driven by choices women make in the workplace around education, how many hours they work, seniority. There are lots of factors that explain why the pay gap exists. And when you actually control for them, they minimize to just a few cents. And in that case, I think it's great for a woman to be able to determine what she earns herself and negotiate that with her employer, not have Washington determine her pay. 


ONWUKA: It is already illegal for an employer to pay a man and a woman differently just based on gender differences. It is actually legal, though, to pay a man and a woman differently because of other factors. Maybe a woman wants more flexibility, like me as a new mom, I love the fact that I can have more time off or negotiate maybe a lower salary in exchange for a flexible schedule and a lot of women feel that way. You know, men may want to negotiate higher salaries. So yes, while it's important that we don't want to see any sort of gender discrimination, I think there is a knee-jerk reaction to the pay gap as though, oh it's entirely driven by gender discrimination. The Bureau of Labor Statistics hesitates to make that assessment and I follow the Bureau of Labor Statistics and their assessment that this is not about gender discrimination. This is about choices that women get to make, which is great. 

EARHARDT: Yeah, I mean, Malia, if you think about this, whatever happened to if the best man or the best woman is better at the job they should make more money? What if you have a man and woman that do the exact same job but he works harder, he is able to travel because she can't because she has kids at home, which maybe she shouldn't be penalized for that, but if you think about it, what if the man is a harder worker and better at the job than the woman at the job and they have the same exact position? Shouldn't he make more? 

MALIA FISHER (WE ARE DEFIANT): Well, most of the evidence shows that that's actually not the case. That the wage gap is driven by factors like our lack of paid family medical leave and what's incredibly exciting about Kamala Harris's policy is that she is actually going to take the proceeds from the fines that will be levied against companies that fail to impose equal pay for their workers and she's going to redirect that to a paid family medical leave policy which we don't have in this country. 


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