Gender Pay Gap Triples In Donald Trump’s White House, Doubles National Average

Published July 6, 2017
Published July 6, 2017

Women in the Trump White House make 63 cents for every dollar earned by male staffers, according to a recent analysis.

Trump Gender Gap

Chris Kleponis-Pool/Getty Images U.S. President Donald J. Trump speaks during a meeting with members of his Cabinet at the White House on March 20, 2017 in Washington DC.

Working women in America earn 83 percent of what men earn, according to the most recent data from Pew Research Center.

That means it would take 44 days of extra work for women to make what their male counterparts make in a year.

In Donald Trump’s White House, it would take even more than that.

The pay gap between male and female staff on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue has tripled under the Trump administration, according to an analysis by economist Mark Perry, who works for the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank based in Washington, D.C.

White House Pay Gap

Mark Perry, AEI; Wonkblog analysis

“The typical female staffer in Trump’s White House earns 63.2 cents per $1 earned by a typical male staffer,” Perry wrote.

With the women in the White House earning a median salary of $72,650 and the men earning a median of $115,000, the administration is operating with a 37 percent gender pay gap — more than double the national rate.

In fact, Trump’s gender pay gap is larger than the national gender pay gap was in 1980 — a year when women still couldn’t legally accuse their husbands of rape.

To be fair, Trump never professed to care about this issue on the campaign trail. His daughter Ivanka, however, has said the gender pay gap is something she’d like to focus on during her time in the White House — even though she also recently said she “tries to stay out of politics.”

Though this isn’t the first time researchers have looked into the Trump White House gender pay gap, Perry said calculations made by other news outlets have been pretty far off.

Those analysts used mean salaries for the respective genders, rather than the median — a figure which isn’t as affected by extremely high or low salaries — which Perry says caused them to underestimate the gap by almost 50 percent.

The newly-revealed salary chasm can largely be explained by the lack of women in high-ranking Trump-team roles, Perry noted.

Seventy-four percent of Trump’s top staffers are men, compared to only 52 percent of Obama’s.

This disparity can be clearly seen in Trump’s cabinet, which is more white and more male than any other presidential cabinet since Ronald Reagan’s.

Irrespective of the pay gap, some experts say that the white, masculine image taking over the White House is evidence enough that gender discrimination in the workplace exists.

“Gender discrimination doesn’t happen only in the pay-setting practices of employers,” the Economic Policy Institute explains. “A woman’s occupational choice is the culmination of years of education, guidance by mentors, expectations of parents and other influential adults, hiring practices of firms, and widespread norms and expectations about work/family balance held by employers, co-workers, and society.”

Obama made this subject an important part of his policy initiatives. In 2014, he signed the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces order, which ensured that companies were transparent about how they paid men vs. women and banned the use of arbitration clauses (which often force employees who undergo sexual harassment in the workplace to settle in private, secretive proceedings).

With little warning or fanfare, Trump signed an executive order revoking these regulations on March 27.

In response to Perry’s analysis, Donald Trump Jr. claimed that no one ever reported on the wage gap in the White House before his father took office.

This is blatantly untrue.

Outlets “discovered” this concept long ago — and they criticized Obama’s White House here, here, and here.

If those aren’t enough examples for Donald Trump Jr., there’s one other person who chided Obama for his 13% gender pay gap in 2014: his father.

Next, check out an analysis showing why fair pay for women is still more than a century away. Then, read meet the suffragettes who defended women’s rights with jiu jitsu.