WASHINGTON, D.C. - The fight for income equality in the U.S. is far from over and a new analysis of salaries at the nation's highest office isn't inspiring hope in advocates of equal pay.
The conservative-leaning American Enterprise Institute studied the salaries of all White House employees. It found that the median salary of female staffers is about 63.2 percent of the median salary of male staffers, for a wage gap of 36.8 percent. AEI says that's more than three times higher than the 10.75 percent gender wage gap President Obama's White House had in his last year in office. It's also twice as much as the national gender wage gap, which sits at 18.1 percent according to the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development.
The analysis by AEI also found that men make up more than 73 percent of the 101 highest-paid positions in the White House. On the flip side of the coin, women make up around 59 percent of the 102 lowest-paid positions.
Other studies have reported a gender wage gap of around 20 percent at the White House, which would be more in line with the national average. However, those studies used average salaries instead of median salaries. In its report, AEI specifically singled out articles published by Roll Call and CNN.
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). For example, the Roll Call article cites the “Pew Research Center’s most recent statistics on gender pay disparity in the American workforce, where women earn 83% of men’s median hourly earnings.” The CNN report cites a “national average [gender pay gap] of 82 cents on the dollar, according to the Labor Department,” and that gender pay gap is based on gender differences in median weekly earnings. The Census Bureau also reports gender differences in earnings based on differences in median annual earnings.
-American Enterprise Institute
President Trump has not made the gender wage gap a major issue for his administration. He has, however, rolled back fair pay regulations for government contractors that were put into place by President Obama. He also didn't make a Presidential declaration on Equal Pay Day, breaking with Obama's 8-year tradition. However, his daughter Ivanka has pushed for women to receive equal pay for equal work.
There's still a chance for the Trump administration to narrow the gender wage gap at the White House. Currently there are 377 staffers on the payroll, compared to the 487 President Obama had during his first year in office. If more women are hired to fill higher-paid positions, it would close the wage gap significantly. Until then, women working at the White House are left with nothing but dreams of better pay.