Trump's White House Has A Gender Pay Gap Problem

by Tara Merrigan
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images News/Getty Images

According to several analyses by media outlets and think tanks, President Donald Trump's White House has a gender pay gap problem far worse than that in the Obama administration, and somewhat worse than the national average. According to one scholar at conservative think tank AEI, the gender pay gap in Trump's administration is more than three times as bad as that in Barack Obama's administration, if you analyze salaries using the statistical concept of medians.

Professor Mark Perry, who teaches at the University of Michigan's campus in Flint, found that for the 2017 White House, median salaries are $72,648 for women and $115,000 for men. That's a 37 percent pay gap, compared to the 11 percent pay gap in Obama's White House. Perry's 2016 analysis found that the median salary for the female staffers under Obama was $68,658 and the median salary for the male staffers was $76,928. That's 89.25 cents for women on a man's dollar, compared to a woman's roughly 63 cents on a man's dollar under Trump.

Analysis by CNN, which looked at statistical averages, found that the pay gap in Trump's administration was less severe. Women working for the White House make on average $83,000, compared to men's $104,000. Based on data released by the White House last week, it was also shown that the highest salary in the White House is $179,700. Of the 22 employees making that much, only six are women; Kellyanne Conway is among those six.

The advocacy group Emily's List had harsh words for Trump after the news of this pay gap broke. "Color us thoroughly unsurprised. As we've seen time and again during his presidency, Trump doesn’t care a whit about women unless he can ogle them, insult them, or use them in strategic PR ploys," said Alexandra De Luca in a statement, referring to Perry's analysis. "If making America great again means turning women back into second-class citizens — as Trump's agenda seems to imply — count us out."

This pay gap is somewhat unsurprising, as De Luca suggested, because Trump has not made much of the issue of equal pay for women. Earlier this spring, about a week before Equal Pay Day, Trump revoked Obama's 2014 Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces executive order, which ensured companies with federal contracts abide by certain labor and civil rights laws. He did so quietly, and it was not until news outlets broke the story that the rollback received attention.

However, several media outlets pointed out that Ivanka Trump, adviser and daughter of the president, has touted equal pay for women — and, indeed women's issues in general — as a central tenet of her father's presidency.

At an international women's summit in Germany, Ivanka tried to make the case for her father's work for women. The presidential adviser, who did not draw a salary from the federal government this year, also tweeted in support of Equal Pay Day, though her father had rolled back Obama-era equal-pay protections just days before.

#EqualPayDay is a reminder that women deserve equal pay for equal work. We must work to close the gender pay gap!