In his address last Wednesday at the Center for American Progress, President Obama made the following statement:
It’s also true that women make 77 cents on the dollar compared to men. So we’re going to need strong application of anti-discrimination laws… we’re going to need targeted initiatives to close those gaps….
That remark is consistent with this statement on the White House website with the heading “Did You Know That Women Are Still Paid Less Than Men?”
On average, full-time working women earn just 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. This significant gap is more than a statistic — it has real life consequences. When women, who make up nearly half the workforce, bring home less money each day, it means they have less for the everyday needs of their families, and over a lifetime of work, far less savings for retirement.
In a CD post last September, I documented the significant gender wage gap for the White House staff, based on salary data from the “2013 Annual Report to Congress on White House Staff.” An analysis of White House payroll data reveals that the 229 female employees in the Obama White House are being paid a median annual salary of $65,000 this year, compared to a median annual salary of nearly $73,729 for the 229 male White House staffers (see chart above). In other words, female staffers at the Obama White House are paid less than 88 cents for every dollar paid to male staffers, and there is therefore a significant White House “gender pay gap” of more than 12%.
So I guess some obvious questions for Obama would include: Did you know that women working in your White House are paid less than men? Specifically, are you aware that female White House staffers earn 88 cents on the dollar compared to your male staffers? And shouldn’t your targeted initiatives to close the gender wage gap start in your own White House?
Note: The post has been updated on January 30, 2014 to reflect a minor error in the White House salary database. The original version of this post said that female staffers at that White House made 87 cents for every dollar a male staffer earns, and that should be “88 cents for every dollar a male staffer earns.”