WATCH: Mace Calls Out Megan Rapinoe, Democrats for Misrepresenting the Facts on Equal Pay
March 24, 2021
Washington - Congresswoman Nancy Mace (SC-01) on Wednesday delivered opening remarks before the House Oversight and Reform Committee, pressing World Cup champion Megan Rapinoe and House Democrats for misrepresenting the facts on equal pay.
Mace emphasized that any two people who have the same education and perform the same job should receive the same pay regardless of gender, but noted Democrats too often base their argument on misleading numbers.
Watch the full clip HERE and see the transcript below:
REP. NANCY MACE:Two people who have the same education and perform the same job should receive the same pay regardless of their gender, race, or any other irrelevant characteristic.
But I also think it’s important when talking about this issue to acknowledge the raw numbers, which has been cited by my colleagues on the other side of the aisle and will no doubt be used through the duration of this hearing, does not give an accurate picture. It's important when we're talking about data that we look at the entire picture.
The raw wage gap number is not a measure of equal pay for equal work. It is a comparison of averages.
The often-cited statistic we heard just now of women earning 80 cents per dollar men earn does not actually compare women and men in the same profession, who work the same hours, with the same qualifications or experience.
So while we have this important conversation supportive of that today, I want to start with the data in context.
Once adjusted for factors such as hours worked, compensation packages, and family and marital status, the gender wage gap is significantly smaller than what we're talking about today. In most cases it's actually between 2 and 10 percent.
I am not saying there is no gender wage gap. I am saying that it is statistically unlikely that women earn less than men because of widespread discrimination.
There’s always been discrimination and we may never be able to resolve it 100 percent. I’ve been in a male dominated industry my entire life, and I’ve seen that discrimination every industry that I’ve been in.
But thanks to existing legislation like the 1963 Equal Pay Act and the 1964 Civil Rights Act, wage discrimination is illegal and bad actors should be held accountable in the civil justice system.
In order to get a clearer picture, let’s briefly look into the data, starting with hours worked.
The 2019 Department of Labor’s Time Use Survey found the average full-time working man spends 8.32 hours a day on the job compared to 7.73 hours for the full-time working woman.
Let’s be clear here, this is not a reflection of effort. Women on average spend much more time doing other unpaid work. For example, on an average day in 2019, 22 percent of men said they did housework compared to 46 percent of women.
But hours worked is not the only factor to consider here. Data shows that women, in general, are willing to trade higher pay for more flexibility, whereas the data shows that men are often willing to trade flexibility for higher pay.
Children also play a role. These are important factors when we are having this conversation.
Not too long ago, we as women didn’t have the ability to make decisions about our professional careers, our personal lives, where we went to school—all of these have been achievements and successes that we've had. I want us to celebrate those.
As the Ranking Member said, prior the pandemic women were joining the workforce at a faster pace than men, and women outnumbered men in earning college degrees. But, in the last year, we’ve seen because of school closures, we’ve had over 3 million women leave the workplace. This has been devastating to the progress we’ve made to women going into work and having careers.
I cannot express how devastating—we’ve set ourselves back decades because of school closures.
We must continue to work for equal opportunity and individual flexibility rather than simply equal pay. There are other factors. These two are not mutually exclusive.