Women working in the White House experience a pay gap of about 37 percent compared to their male counterparts — nearly double than what was previously reported by media outlets, according to a new analysis. This is more than triple the rate under former President Barack Obama, whose female staffers earned about 10.75 percent less than their male counterparts.
The findings from the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), a conservative think tank, report that women make a median salary of $72,650 in the White House, while men make a median salary of $115,000. Therefore, the female staffers earn roughly 63.2 cents compared to the man’s $1.
Media outlets previously reported about a 20 percent gap in the White House based on the mean salary, rather than the median salary — which is not the most reliable measure, according to Mark Perry, who authored the AEI analysis.
“To be as statistically accurate as possible, almost all reports on pay differences by gender compare median wages, income, or salaries and not differences in average (mean) pay (the same statistical approach applies when home prices are reported),” Perry writes.
While rates vary by state, nationally women make roughly 80 cents for every dollar a man earns. In 2015 the median income for a woman was $40,742, versus $51,212 for a man. And according to the National Partnership for Women and Families, Black and Hispanic women earn considerably less when compared to white men. Black women earn roughly 63 cents for a white man’s dollar, and Hispanic women earn just 54 cents. Asian women earn about 85 cents to the white man’s dollar, but this amount may vary by ethnic subgroups.
According to Perry, a large part of the problem in Trump’s White House is that women are not staffed in as many higher-paying positions as men.
“Of the top 101 highest-paid employees at the White House, nearly three out of four (73.3%) are men, and that percentage holds pretty closely for the top 23 (74% male), top 48 (77% male) and top 60 highest-paid staffers (73%),” Perry writes. “In contrast, of the 102 lowest-paid White House employees, nearly six out of ten (59.2%) are female.”
According to the Huffington Post, “the proportion of females among the highest-paid staff oscillated between 35 percent and 45 percent” during Obama’s two terms.
Obama brought attention to the gender pay gap on Equal Pay Day during his presidency. “Women in the United States still do not always receive equal pay for equal work,” he said on his last Equal Pay Day in office. “When women are paid less for doing the same jobs as men, it undermines our most fundamental beliefs as Americans.”
In contrast, Trump did not acknowledge Equal Pay Day. In fact, just two months into his presidency, he revoked Obama’s Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces order. The order required some federal contractors to provide certain information — including that pertaining to pay — before being eligible for certain federal contracts.
Rumors have also circulated that Trump will be shutting down the White House Council on Women and Girls. Politico reported on June 30: “The council, created by Obama in 2009 to monitor the impact of policy changes and liaise with women’s groups has been defunct while the Trump administration evaluates whether to keep it, according to three senior White House officials.”
What issues an administration chooses to prioritize speaks volumes to what the administration considers important, and Trump’s White House has made no indication that women’s rights are a priority.
Many people have looked to the president’s daughter Ivanka Trump to promote gender equality. Ivanka has painted herself as a champion of women’s rights. However, it was revealed that the first daughter has her label’s clothes made by workers who receive no paid maternity leave. G-III Apparel Group, which has had the rights to design and distribute Trump’s clothing since 2012, does not offer its employees any paid maternity leave. It offers only the minimum time off required by law: twelve weeks of unpaid leave.
The Ivanka Trump brand, which is Trump’s company, offers eight weeks of paid leave to new mothers, as well as flexible work hours, a company representative reported. And while Trump has no managerial authority at China’s G-III factory, the reported disturbing conditions and poor treatment of its employees should have prompted Trump to work with a different company. The Washington Post previously reported that a factory audit of the company revealed that employees work 60-hour weeks and make about $62 a week. By Chinese law, workers can only work 36 hours of overtime a month — a number exceeded by many G-III employees.