In its annual salary report to Congress, the White House revealed some disappointing numbers. Currently, female employees are making 84.2 cents to every dollar made by a male employee, despite the female presence dominating with 263 staffed to 209 males.
Considering Obama’s crowing about the pay gap, you'd think the White House would be doing better in this department. According to the White House’s website, “Under the President’s leadership, this Administration has made significant progress to bridge the gender pay gap.” This so-called progress includes the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the Equal Pay Task Force, and the Equal Pay App Challenge.
To better summarize, Lilly Ledbetter is a woman who worked over 10 years for equality in pay. In 2009, Ledbetter joined Obama while he signed his first bill, ever, promising a “simple fix to ensure fundamental fairness to American workers.”
One year later, Obama established the Equal Pay Task Force to ensure that the Equal Pay Act of 1963 stayed true to its word. However, 50 years have since passed, and we’re still working on closing the gap. What is up with that?
Apparently the White House is trying, hence the Equal Pay App Challenge where software developers were asked to create apps giving better access to pay numbers by gender, race, and ethnicity.
While the aforementioned attempts sound nice, the problem hasn’t been solved. Can we actually believe that our equality is being fought for when women in the White House are still underpaid?
Either Obama is lying about non-discrimination and he really is underpaying his female employees, or the study that women are receiving 23 cents less than men is bogus.
According to Christina Hoff Sommers, the pay gap is a myth and instead this number is an average in earnings of all men and women without factoring in occupation, positions, education, job tenure, or hours worked per week.
If the White House can justify its pay gap with factors other than gender, who’s to say Target and other companies can’t? Does the gap really exist?
What do you think?
Photo via The New York Times