The initial awareness of the issue was completely predicated on a lie...well, willful misinterpretation of research.
The statement was women earn 74-80% of what men make...based on what? If you read the research, it states that men typically pick higher paying jobs and women pick lower paying jobs. More men in the medical field, CEOs managerial positions and more women in library/secretary etc
When you actually delve into the pay differences between men and women in the same field, the gap is much narrower. It is typically within 2-3% of what men make (in several instances, women making more).
Where do you account for that 2-3%? Maternity leave, care for sick children etc Men are typically more willing to work overtime compared to women. Many companies let their employees negotiate their wages, men tend to be more aggressive than women when it comes to that.
The reality is that the wage gap is essentially a non-issue. But a non-issue that the professionally offended love to bring up to line their own wallets with.