According to data released Tuesday, gender-wage discrimination is alive and well within the White House, with the average man earning 13 percent more than the average woman.
The average male employee in the White House earns $88,600, while the average woman earns $78,400. This 13 percent pay gap has not changed since 2009, when President Barack Obama took office for his second term.
The White House explains that the main reason for this stagnation is that more men hold higher level, senior positions within this particular administration, whereas more women hold lower, junior level positions. Despite the apparent wage gap, the White House strives to give equal pay for equal labor.
“At the White House, we have equal pay for equal work,” said White House spokeswoman Jessica Santillo said. “Men and women in equivalent roles earn equivalent salaries, and over half of our departments are run by women.”
Considering Obama has put so much effort into narrowing the wage gap between men and women, it comes as a great surprise that he has not taken such steps among his own employees.
There are currently 87 male employees in the White House who male more than $100,000, compared to 53 female employees who make that amount. Among the most senior White House employees, there are two more men than women.
This past year, the president has made pay equity one of his primary agendas, pushing for a raise in the minimum wage, and advocating for increased equal-pay opportunities for women.
“This is not a women’s issue, this is a family issue,” Obama said last month in Pittsburgh. “Women now bring in close to half of all income, and there are a whole lot of families out there where the woman is the primary breadwinner.”
White House officials say that they have more work to do and will continue to work to retain and promote more female staff members, in the hopes that these women reach senior level positions and lessen the pay gap.
The current pay gap in the District of Columbia is 9.9 percent, whereas the national pay gap between men and women is 23.5 percent.