Remember this? In 2009 President Obama signed the ‘Equal pay for Equal Work’, also known as the ‘Lilly Ledbetter’ act. It was a banner day for women all across America. Thanks to our beloved president, finally women would get their due.
The report below claims that women in the private sector fare worse than those in government who, apparently, are already treated as equals. That’s great! At least the White House is leading the charge and practicing what they preach.
Could it be that Obama talks a good game but doesn’t back it up?
According to an article by Meghan Keneally, that is evidently the case:
All of President Barack Obama’s employees may not be treated equally in the White House, as recently released financial records show that female employees earn significantly less than their male counterparts.
Using the 2011 annual report of White House staff salaries that was submitted to Congress, an $11,000 difference is clear between the median female employee salary and the median male employee salary.
This news comes on top of continued criticism- of both President Obama and prior presidents- that women are underrepresented in the White House.
Of the administration’s 20 top earners, who each took home a tidy $172,200 for their work in 2011, only six of those were women.
The most oft-singled-out leading lady in the President’s testosterone-fueled inner circle is Valerie Jarrett who is one of his closest advisors.
That said, she has been with the President since his days in Chicago and is seen as one of his close personal friends as well as a trusted advisor.
The gender differential has been noticed outside of the White walls, and Dee Dee Myers- the first female press secretary who worked under the Clinton administration- feels it is not doing Mr Obama’s team any favors.
‘Women are Obama’s base, and they don’t seem to have enough people who look like the base inside of their own inner circle,’ Dee Dee Myers told The New York Times.
The hefty salaries, like Ms Jarrett’s, were not the norm, however, as the median salary for women in the White House is $60,000 which is 18 per cent less than their male peers whose median salary was $71,000.
This is not the first time that a pay disparity has been present in Mr Obama’s White House, as it started as soon as his time in office did.
In 2009, women made 89 cents for every dollar that men made in ‘the People’s House’.
On average, that came out to $9,390 less.
While that looks like last year’s calculations would mean a more drastic increase, those figures were compiled on the median salaries and not the mean so the two numbers are not exactly compatible, but they do show that there has not been a marked improvement in the situation.
Though the White House is not setting a great example, it is doing better than most: a recent national survey claims that women still make 23 cents less than men for every dollar earned.
That may present more of a problem, as the President’s platform clearly values equal pay, as Mr Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act only nine days into his term.
The current administration’s gender differential is certainly not the first, as former President Bill Clinton only had four women among his 17 top paid employees.
The downward trend continued with President George W. Bush, who only had 35 women among his top 122 workers.
Unlike in previous years, Mr Obama may be held to a greater degree of accountability on the issue now as both parties paint the other as waging a war against women.