News & Politics

Biden's White House 'Gender Pay Gap' Is Worse Than Obama's

Biden's White House 'Gender Pay Gap' Is Worse Than Obama's
AP Photo/Susan Walsh

The Biden White House has regularly patted itself on the back for hiring more women than men and even claims to be a champion of “pay equity,” which Biden calls a “moral imperative.” The annual White House salary report even claims the Biden White House only has a gender pay gap of 1 percent between men and women.

While it’s great that the White House Report inadvertently acknowledged that there are only two genders, the gender pay gap in the Biden White House is much, much more than 1 percent.

Mark Perry, senior fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, analyzed the White House Salary Report and noticed some problems.

“By gender, the average salary for the 304 female White House employees is $94,047 compared to the $98,091 average for the 214 male staffers, which is a gender pay gap of 4.1% based on average salaries,” explains Perry. “The White House is reporting slightly different figures of a $93,752 average salary for women and $94,639 for men, a gender pay gap of only 1%, and is taking credit for ‘narrowing the gender pay gap’ according to various media reports…”

But Perry says there’s “a big problem with the White House’s gender pay gap math that will most likely be ignored and not reported.” The problem, he says, is that the White House’s math “is based on average staff salaries by gender instead of the conventional, widely accepted comparison of median earnings or salaries to calculate gender pay differentials.” That is how the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Census Bureau compare salary data by demographics.

So, why did the White House report abandon the standard methodology? Because, Perry explains, “the median salary of its 304 female staffers is $80,000 [half make more than $80,000 and half make less] compared to the median male salary of $100,000 [half make more and half make less].” A 20 percent gender pay gap.

This means that the typical female staffer in the Biden White House only earns 80 cents for every dollar a male staffer makes. That pay gap is more than double the average gender pay gap in the Washington, D.C., labor market.

The Obama White House was similarly criticized for having a substantial gender pay gap despite paying a lot of lip service to the issue of pay equity. According to an analysis from the Washington Post in 2014, the gender pay gap under Obama was 13 percent. But even that was based on average salaries. So, using the standard methodology of comparing median salaries, the Biden White House is worse because the gender pay gap in the Obama White House was 10.75 percent.

The Obama White House naturally fought back against the criticism. “At the White House, we have equal pay for equal work,” Obama White House spokeswoman Jessica Santillo said at the time. “Men and women in equivalent roles earn equivalent salaries.”

This explanation was likely true. And, to be honest, that’s likely the case in the Biden White House as well, because Santillo’s reason for there actually being no gender pay gap in the Obama White House also debunked the alleged gender pay gap nationwide: men and women working similar jobs with similar experience make similar pay, and the “gap” only exists when you compare all men to all women without considering factors like the differences in education, occupation, position, or even hours worked.

Once these real-world factors are taken into account, there is no gender pay gap. “There is almost no evidence that men and women working in the same position with the same background, education and qualifications are paid differently,” Perry explained. “Whether it’s the Target Corporation, Facebook, the University of Virginia, the United Way, the White House or McDonald’s, there is almost no evidence that any of those organizations have two pay scales: one for men [at a higher wage] and one for women [at a lower wage].”

One big reason for that: it’s illegal.