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Dispelling the White House pay gap myth

Photo by René DeAnda on Unsplash

In an op-ed for Fox News, I make the case that the difference between what men and women earn in the Trump White House is neither unprecedented nor really a pay gap when all things are considered equal.

Gender-based discrimination is not the reason men and women earn differently as the pay gap narrative suggests. Our choices and actions including taking time out of the labor force, working fewer hours, seeking greater flexibility, and choosing lower-paying jobs or careers, contribute significantly to why men and women start out earning the same amount but over time men outpace women in earnings.

Here’s an excerpt:

CNN leads us to the conclusion that President Trump is a bad boss for women. But he is not the first President to preside over a pay gap in his White House. Despite President Obama’s rhetoric about equal pay for equal work, he couldn’t close the 13 percent wage gap in his office for most of his term. In fact, women earned less than men on average at the White House all eight years of the Obama Presidency.

Men earned more working under other Democrats as well. Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, Senate office, and the Clinton Foundation all had gender pay differences. Michelle Obama’s White House office paid men significantly more as well.

In all of these instances, and in the economy at large, men earn more than women on average. But importantly, this is not primarily due to sex-based discrimination.

Calculating averages conceals the nuances of the pay at the White House and in the workforce at large. The White House data don’t show that men and women working in the same jobs are getting unequal pay. They do show that there are more men working in higher-paying positions. An apples-to-apples comparison of positions at the Trump White House confirms what previous White Houses have said: there is equal pay for equal work.

Read the full piece at Fox News.

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