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December 3 2018

Millennial Monday: Secret's Use of Phony Gender Gap Stats Doesn't Pass the Smell Test

by Betsy Pearson

The Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) released a misleading study claiming that the gender pay gap is actually much worse than we thought. During their 15-year research period, two IWPR economists suggested that women earned just 51 cents to men’s dollar. Popular deodorant brand, Secret, has decided to capitalize on this MISINFORMATION with their #IdRatherGetPaid campaign.

According to a Glossy article, the campaign is targeted at millennial women. Sara Saunders, Secret associate brand director, points out that female college graduates entering the workforce for the first time are already buying in to the gender pay gap. Saunders says, “It is really important for the brand to understand what is stressing women, and pay is absolutely on their minds.”

In their—admittedly—catchy music video for the #IdRatherGetPaid roll out, they draw attention to the hypocrisy of the modern feminist movement. Millennials tend to think that buying a t-shirt with a political catch phrase on it will actually amount to change. I tend to stop agreeing with this campaign when they start relying on twisted statistics from deceptive studies.

In a fierce response, IWF’s, Inez Stepman, explains the problem with statistics like those from IWPR citing false comparisons between unequal work. For example, a stay-at-home mother’s earnings should not be compared to a man who works full time. Free choice for both men and women to take different career paths is exactly what makes America the land of opportunity. It is a shame that personal preferences are consistently turned into false narratives.

In the National Review, President of IWF, Carrie Lukas, puts it nicely: “Rather than try to convince women that they are doomed to massive gender discrimination, those who care about women’s economic advancement should seek to build an awareness of the very real consequences of the choices women make.”

While Secret is pushing their “Equal work. Equal sweat. Equal pay.”, I think it is time we take a step back from the flashy talking points and look at the real economic issues women face today. Stop sweating the gender pay gap narrative, and start making informed career decisions.



Independent Women's Forum is an educational 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. IWF is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Voice.​
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