The White House recently released its annual list of staff salaries (opens in new tab), which it has been required to do (opens in new tab) every year since 1995, and the numbers revealed a gender wage gap. It's not really because men are paid more than women for the same jobs, but that men are more often occupying the upper-level (and higher-paying) positions than women are. At a White House press briefing last week, press secretary Josh Earnest said that "the White House has some improvement to make" when it comes to equal pay for equal work. "I wouldn't hold up the White House as the perfect example here," Earnest said.
The Obama administration says they plan to bring in more women (opens in new tab) at the junior level (in lesser-paying jobs) to help them move up eventually, but the newly released data shows that the current administration hasn't hired many more women in lower-level positions (opens in new tab) than in past administrations. In fact, in the the second year of George W. Bush's second term in 2006, 59 percent of staffers earning below the median salary in the White House were women. Now, at the same point in Obama's presidency, 55 percent are women.
Naturally, Obama's critics are going wild and calling him out for urging businesses and lawmakers (opens in new tab) to reduce wage disparity while his own staff has this kind of problem on their own. The gender gap is an ongoing issue throughout the country—but the White House could be a good place to start showing a positive change (opens in new tab).
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