As the president and Democrats campaign to pass legislation mandating equal pay for men and women doing the same job, the Obama White House is under scrutiny for paying women just 88 cents for every $1 paid to men, according to The New York Times.
Two recent studies using data from the “2013 Annual Report to Congress on White House Staff” found a double-digit gender pay gap in the Obama White House. An analysis by The Daily Caller
in January revealed the median 2013 salary for men working in the Obama administration was $73,729, while the median salary for women was $65,000 – an 11.8 percent difference. An American Enterprise Institute
study identified a total pay gap of 12 percent.
Obama Press Secretary Jay Carney defended the administration, saying the figures are misleading because there are more women than men working in lower-level positions.
“Men and women in equivalent roles here earn equivalent salaries,” Carney said. “Some of the most senior positions in the White House are filled by women, including national security adviser, homeland security adviser, White House counsel, communications director, senior adviser, deputy chief of staff.”
According to the Times, citing data from the Center for American Women and Politics at Rutgers University, women make up 35 percent of the president’s cabinet.
Gender pay inequity is shaping up to be a key issue in the midterms. The White House hopes that by highlighting the issue, it will hijack the GOP narrative about Obamacare and its problems, according to USA Today.
Today, the president is scheduled to draw attention to gender pay inequity with two strokes of the pen. An executive order to ban federal contractors from retaliating against employees who discuss their compensation as well as a presidential memorandum requiring federal contractors to provide the Department of Labor compensation paid to its employees, broken down by sex and race, according to USA Today.
Also this week, Senate Democrats are expected to begin debating the Paycheck Fairness Act.
The president of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research tells the Times that she’s glad the issue is getting some attention, but is undecided about whether it will lead to real change.
“The more light you can shine on wages, the better,” Heidi Hartmann said. “Who knows how much stronger enforcement it will lead to. But I think the publicity — the fact that people will hear about it and know about it — will help.”
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