The White House Admits There's a Wage Gap at the White House


On Tuesday, President Obama will take another stab at balancing pay inequity between America’s ladies and gents with the Paycheck Fairness Act. The law would regulate how private companies pay their employees to weed out gender discrimination. Most of us are familiar with the statistic noting that women make 77 cents for every dollar men make, but did you know that that inequity also lives at the White House?

Thanks to Obama’s pay transparency, also known as telling the Internet what White House staffers make, it’s public knowledge that female White House workers make 88 cents for every dollar their male counterparts make, which is a bit of a step up but obviously not enough. But for their specific inequity, the difference lies in their time on the job, among other factors.

The recent study, by the conservative American Enterprise Institute, showed that the median annual salary for women in the White House last year was $65,000, while the median annual salary for men was $73,729. The study was based on White House salary data.
The pay in the White House most likely mirrors the situation across the federal government, Ms. Hartmann said. “Women still tend to have lower pay grades than men do, because the men, on average, have more years of experience.”

Women hold more lower-level positions than men in the White House, Obama’s press secretary Jay Carney told the New York Times, however when men and women have the same jobs, their pay is also the same. We can actually look this up on the White House website thanks to that whole pay transparency thing. He says the 88 cents statistic is skewed by the salaries of the lower-level positions, where women outnumber men. Obviously, Carney’s point illuminates another inequity — fix the stats by hiring more women in higher level positions or more men in lower level jobs.

Elsewhere, the wage gap is a partisan issues with Senate Democrats pushing to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act and Republicans prepared to filibuster it because women are the enemy of their political success. What else is new?

On the other hand, if you’re curious about whether you’re suffering a wage gap at your job, and you don’t work at the White House, there’s actually an app for that. A systems analyst named Laquitta DeMerchant, along with her software engineer husband, crafted an app called Aequitas that crunches all of the newly released job data numbers to deduce whether you’re being taken for a ride. How awesome is that?

Image via Getty.

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