Did Hillary Clinton Pay Women Less Than Men Working On Her Campaign? No, Of Course Not
A Washington Free Beacon article that's gained traction regarding Hillary Clinton paying her female staff 28 cents less per dollar than their male counterparts has been partially disproved thanks to data analysis from FactCheck.org with information provided directly by Clinton's campaign. Although The Washington Free Beacon's numbers were technically correct, information that the publication excluded led them to the conclusion that Clinton had been paying her female employees less, when in fact, women and men were being paid the same average amount.
Most recently, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus penned an op-ed piece in USA Today decrying Clinton across the board, and included the claim of alleged unequal pay. Priebus certainly hasn't been quiet since Clinton made her campaign announcement. His accusations against her included an insinuation that Clinton's Russian reset as Secretary of State (in which she and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov attempted to diplomatically start anew) helped contribute to our current strained relations with the global power, as well as the aforementioned claim of unequal pay. The wage claim was also mentioned on the GOP's website on Equal Pay Day in a brief blog post from Republican National Committee Co-Chair Sharon Day.
According to articles about The Washington Free Beacon on MediaMatters.org, it appears that the publication slants to the right; FactCheck.org is a nonpartisan consumer advocacy nonprofit based out of the Annenberg Public Policy Center, according to its website. FactCheck.org's detailed report about Clinton's campaign staff salaries makes clear that they draw no conclusions from their data, nor do they prefer their report over the Washington Free Beacon's:
We take no position on which may be the superior methodology — as Patten [Pew Research Center research analyst] told us, both have benefits and tradeoffs. But we think it’s instructive to consider those benefits and tradeoffs.
The Free Beacon got their numbers through Senate expenditure reports, showing annual salaries from 2002 to 2008. The numbers analyzed were from full-time workers, thus those who took temporary leave or were hired on mid-year did not have their salaries counted in the breakdown of data. From year to year, the wage disparities between men and women seem to rise and fall almost unpredictably. In 2005, women appear to out-earn men by four cents while that number plummets to women earning just 63 cents per dollar just three years later. The site concluded that, overall, women hired by the Clinton campaign were paid $15,708.38 less than men based on median salary.
However, Clinton's campaign office itself providing full salary information of its employees during that time period to FactCheck.org proves incredibly illuminating. The site was able to piece together the bigger picture of men and women campaign worker salaries across the board given the additional data of those workers who were excluded from the Free Beacon's report. It turns out the median salary of both men and women is $40,000, which FactCheck.org reconfirmed multiple times by spot checking the salaries provided. Adding those extra employees who either started their tenure with Clinton late or temporarily left as well as pro-rating salaries ultimately showed equality across the board, which the site explicitly notes in confirming their data.
Compared with the Free Beacon's numbers, FactCheck.org acknowledges how omitting certain salaries might make it appear that Clinton is paying her female staff less. To quote FactCheck.org's report:
If those part-year employees are excluded, the median gap widened to $42,500 for women and $59,000 for men. That translates to women earning just 72 cents for every dollar earned by men.
The salary data provided by Clinton's campaign and analyzed by FactCheck.org not only paints a clearer picture of median salary and provides transparency into her campaign but also reconfirms her commitment to equal pay as well as diverse hiring practices. Clinton's campaign boasts an impressive 44 women on staff and 26 men
according to information provided by Clinton's campaign, to say nothing of the many minorities her campaign has employed over the years.
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